Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Improve the Singapore MRT system

I am impressed with the following features of the Taipei MRT system:

a) Good signage
b) Helpful staff
c) Short waiting time
d) Easy to get a seat, even during busy hours

These are conditions that are easy for Singapore MRT to achieve, even though the system is older. What cannot be done through hardware can be achieved through software.

What is needed to get the Singapore system to be less crowded?

Operate more trains. The waiting time for trains during off-peak period is now between 5 to 8 minutes. If the waiting time is reduced by 1 or 2 minutes, the capacity can be increased by 25%. This will impose a small increase in operating cost but a big reduction in waiting time and 25% more people can have a seat.

I accept that during peak hours, our MRT trains are already operating at full capacity. But, we can make the system more comfortable during the off-peak hours, like in Taipei.


Khiat Han Hwee Adrian said...

The objective of SMRT and SBS Transit is to generate more revenue and operate at least cost.

By operating an extra train will means extra fuel and manpower with lesser people on it. The most profitable company will be one with the most crowded trains.

This is the problem with privatisation and the presence of monopoly.

hongjun said...

I agree with you in that they are already working in full capacity during peak hours. They cannot possibly increase more frequencies since trains need safety distance.

Perhaps Singaporeans should also learn to keep left on escalators and make way for those who are in a rush to pass through at the right. Singaporeans should also learn from the Taiwanese and Hong Kongers to stay in demarcated lines and allow passengers to alight first before boarding.

We need to be educated.

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