Driver locks passengers in bus bound for Woodlands Checkpoint, refuses to drive after some fail to pay fare

Driver locks passengers in bus bound for Woodlands Checkpoint, refuses to drive after some fail to pay fare
The driver of bus service 178 locked the doors and refused to drive after a few passengers did not pay the fare.
PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

Some commuters who were on their way to Johor Bahru (JB) found themselves trapped inside bus service 178 after the driver locked the doors and refused to drive. 

He had done so after some passengers refused to pay their fare, reported Shin Min Daily News. 

The incident occurred last Friday (May 10) at about 5pm at the bus stop opposite Kranji MRT station. 

Service 178 is managed by SMRT Corporation and runs between Boon Lay and Woodlands terminals. It stops at Woodlands Train Checkpoint on the route from Boon Lay to Woodlands.

A passenger surnamed Liang told the Chinese daily that the bus captain had opened both doors to make it easier for passengers to board and alight. 

The 56-year-old, who works as a purchaser in Singapore, was heading back to JB that evening. 

"Some passengers boarded the bus via the rear door, and some of them didn't pay the fare. The bus captain reminded everyone to pay, but no one listened to him," she recounted. 

The driver's threat to call the police also fell on deaf ears. 

Frustrated, he shut both doors and stopped the bus at the side of the road, saying that he had to wait for the bus inspector. 

Passengers protested 

This led to some passengers complaining as they were in a rush to cross the Causeway, said Liang.

"It's a race against time to cross the checkpoint during the weekend, but the driver didn't listen." 

The bus inspector arrived about 40 minutes later and asked the passengers to alight and board the next bus. 

He gave a verbal warning to those who did not pay their fares.

Upset that the inspector did not apologise to the other passengers for the inconvenience, Liang said: "What kind of attitude is this? I have never seen such a ridiculous bus captain. I hope the bus company can give us an explanation."

In response to AsiaOne's queries, SMRT noted that several commuters did not pay their fare after boarding the bus through the rear door. 

"We take a serious view of such errant commuter behaviour, as it inconveniences other commuters when our bus captain adheres to protocols to address the situation," said deputy managing director of SMRT Buses Vincent Gay.

He added that the company has reported the matter to the police and are assisting in investigations. 

"We extend our gratitude to all commuters onboard the affected bus for their understanding and patience while the bus captain handled the situation." 

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