SMRT: Getting Back on Track
On July 7, 2015, a power fault during the evening commute led to a system-wide disruption on SMRT, Singapore's heavily used mass rapid transit lines. Train service on both lines was shut down for more than two hours, affecting more than 413,000 commuters. The public was outraged at the scale of the breakdown and how ineffectively it was handled. Detailed investigations revealed the breakdown to be a result of maintenance lapses, and SMRT was criticized for its failure to provide clear and timely information and instructions to passengers. Following the breakdown, the company embarked on a service recovery process encompassing various new initiatives. This case illustrates the tensions SMRT faced during and after the breakdown, and its journey to recover the public's confidence in is transit services. Thompson S.H. Teo is affiliated with National University of Singapore.