Saturday, June 23, 2007

Efficient vs First World

People know me as someone who is very critical on the public transport here. However, what they might not know is that I was never critical of it, until someone put the label "First World". That was what triggered my barrage of criticisms.

Singapore has one of the most efficient public transport systems in the world. This I agree, other than the buses. :p

However, efficiency does not equate to "First World". Let me give an example of our MRT system, which is my favorite mode of transport here.

What SMRT thinks we need:
  • EzLink, which is our cashless mode of payment.
  • Whole barrage of advertisements, even to the point of installing LCDs at train stations and the train itself for it.

What SMRT thinks we do not need:
  • Clear indications at all times on when the MRT is arriving
  • Clear indications within the train on which is the next stop
  • Everyone understands English so all the announcements are all made in English, even to the extend of broken English.

Note the things we that they think we need, and do not need. Is it the reverse?

Look at Japan. The train operator will apologize to all the customers on any train breakdowns that disrupts the train schedule, and it's almost always on schedule. Now, that is world class. Service always first.

First world transport system?? Let the management try taking it during peak hours, without their "entourage" and see if it's first world.


Rhinestic said...

Hahha.. in hongkong, the train stations are spoken in english, mandarin and cantonese... I still like their blinking LED lights on the train maps and there are green and red lights on every door so tt u know which door to alight from at which station (aka green light)... I still see people moving to the wrong side of the train to alight at city hall... LOL..

chantc said...

That's the thing. They keep saying we're first world, world class. To me, that's arrogance. They have never went to look at other stations and they say we're world class.

If they are serious, they should take the public transport everyday. Period. Nobody blocking the traffic for them, no barricade, no police, no media. They will then know what's their definition of world class, first class.

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