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Case Study: SMRT Train Disruptions


David Fong

on 9 May 2013

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Transcript of Case Study: SMRT Train Disruptions

Case Study: Train Disruptions
in December 2011 "The rail network is the backbone of Singapore's public transport system, and its safety must be ensured."
- Lui Tuck Yew, Singapore Transport Minister 2.3 million Singaporeans take the train daily (LTA, 2012) SMRT Peak Period Crowd 14 December 2011 6.00am to 11.45am
Bus bridging service employed an hour later
Media release by SMRT stating reason and apologised 15 December 2011 6.56pm, with services resuming the next day
127 thousand passengers affected
Thousands trapped in trains
Commuters fainting, smashing windows
Passengers walking through tunnels to exit "Don't break the windows," says SMRT Opportunist message sent to SMRT taxi drivers 16 December 2011 SMRT Press Conference
Apologised and vowed to prevent reoccurrence
Set up Twitter account for updates 17 December 2011 6.50am to 1.48pm
Public protest at Hong Lim Park
Online petition for Saw to take responsibility 18 December 2011 Train services started at 11am instead of 5.30am
Engineers running checks on the tracks
Minister Seng Han Thong made a racist remark on national television The Players Spin-doctoring has 4 sets of players: Politicians, spin industry, media workers & media audiences (Louw, 2010) 1. SMRT:
Partners (taxis)
2. Politicians & Government:
Government - PAP, Temasek Holdings
Opposition party - WP, SDP, NSP
Land Transport Authority
3. Media workers
4. Media audience
Public - Singapore citizens & SMRT customers
Citizen journalism Political Scene in Singapore Lui Tuck Yew Member of Parliament (MP) and PAP
Transport Minister
Key player in responding to questions / arguments and making official statements Seng Han Thong Member of Parliament (MP) and PAP
Attempted to explain the incompetency of SMRT staff during the disruptions
Made racist remarks
Faced backlash from the public, opposition leaders and MPs Media Workers Local vs International The Straits Times International Press Issues to Promote: Media Audiences Petition for Saw Phaik Hwa's Resignation
Call for change of leadership on a whole
Lack of efficiency and lack of understanding from SMRT Facebook Petition Call for Change of Leadership Raise Awareness of SMRT's inefficiency Issues to Bury: Media Audiences SMRT's Credibility and Image Making Memes Memes Fake SMRT Accounts Memes Memes Issues to Promote: SMRT Regain Trust and Confidence of the Commuters
Convince the Public of the effectiveness of their contingency plans SMRT Apologises Contingency Plans Issues to Bury: SMRT Poor maintenance of the rails
Insensitive Communication Utilization of Cable Tie Redesign Claims Opportunist message sent to SMRT taxi drivers SMRT's Justification Anticipation of clashes between players SMRT Under Intense Media Spotlight Preventing Damaging Stories Volatility of the Internet Platforms Hostile Personal Attacks on Saw Phaik Hwa Provision of Management and Transport Services Concluding Statements SMRT & the government received backlash due to the following events:

1.) Primarily a result of train disruptions
Public uproar and complaints
Rants on blogs
Memes & Social Media
Creation of parody accounts
2.) During train disruptions
Lack of staff knowledge on the disruptions
3.) Messages to own taxi fleet
To “profit” from disaster
4.) Post-train disruptions
Racist remarks
Admitting technical failure due to lack of maintenance
5.) External Incidents relating to SMRT CEO Saw Phiak Hwa
- “Crass” representation of self Committee of Inquiry PM Lee called for a COI
Findings were published and made known to the public
SMRT was found to have breached recommending operating standards
Full transcript