The breakdown of the new Downtown Line (DTL) on Friday 27 Dec was the second time DTL services have been disrupted since its official opening on 21 December 2013 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Purchased at a cost of $570 million the 73 DTL train sets were manufactured in Changchun, Jilin province, China. Operator SBS Transit is blaming a little girl for activating the detrainment door device and grinding the multimillion dollar system to a halt. They refused to release the incriminating CCTV footage, guarding it like a national security secret. They did admit that "the internal laminate of the metal cover which holds the detrainment door switch had debonded." Shoddy workmanship or quality assurance aside, the chap who signed off the acceptance inspection deserves the sack.
Thousands of motor vehicles were stuck in a 2-hour traffic snarl along the $4.3 billion MCE on the second day of operation yesterday. Reputedly the worst congestion was at the exit to Central Boulevard where the 10-lane superhighway turns into a 2-lane slip road. LTA says it will "immediately" convert that stretch from 2- to 4-lanes, something that obviously did not cross their minds during the many months of road traffic planning. In this instance, LTA lays blame on the motorists for not being familiar with the new road configuration. Worse is to come. "If the traffic condition today was already so bad when half the working population in the Marina area is away on holiday, I think there will be chaos on Jan 2," dreaded one affected citizen. You don't even want to contemplate the horrors ahead when the population hits 6.9 million.