Thursday, June 17, 2010

Signage at the Circle Line

This is the signboard at the Bishan station of the Circle Line. The destination "to Marymount" is not lighted. In fact, all word "to Marymount" is not lighted in all the signs in the Bishan and Bras Basah stations of the line. I suspect that this situation applies to other stations as well.

I can only guess that the lights were dimmed during the first stage when the line served Bishan to Serangoon. The line had been extended to Marymount for nearly one year and still the lights have not been fixed. What is the reason?

I take the Circle Line only a few times and observed this situation. But there are many commuters who take taking this line daily. Why did they not raise this matter? What about the employees working at the stations?

Is this the state of apathy in Singapore? If so, it would be quite worrisome!

Tan Kin Lian


Anonymous said...

I've observed that you are getting interested with MRT operation lately.Perhaps if someone here has some officials working in the related field should highlight them to this site.
Maybe commuters are too engrossed with their works that they didn't realise the signages.

student MYM

Anonymous said...

Well we learn from the examples set by the very top people in our society. Everyone is paid to do their job. Some are paid very very well or overpaid, some are paid very little. When those at the top has no sense of moral duty, accountability, responsibility, except greed for ever higher millions in salary, of course why would those below and those who are paid very little even bother? You can talk all you want about everyone's responsibilities, sacrifices, altruism and so on, but save that for the classroom and the naive. Come out to society is a different reality, Singapore's reality.

I was at a HDB MSCP just yesterday and it was raining. A young mother with her 6 or 7 year old son and daughter in tow. The mother threw her umbrella at the staircase corner. Her son tells her "mommy you dropped the umbrella". She replied "it is spoilt." The daughter added "is spoil meh?" The mother told them "let's go" and they left the umbrella where it was. I was going to tell the mother off for littering and setting such a fine example to her children but decided against it. Things in Singapore has to get a lot worse before people will wake up and demand change. So I walked away.

Tan Kin Lian said...

Reply to 8:53 PM

I take the MRT whenever I have to go to town. I observe and write in this blog. My mobile phone camera was handly to take the picture.

Anonymous said...

The Ministers are paid too well and seems to be given the golden shield so that they will not be held accountable. They have become complacent and irresponsible. It triggers down the organisation till those at the bottom turn a blind eye to what is wrong on the ground.It all started from the Mak Selamat affair where Wong Kan Seng was been let off lightly quoting "lapses" as the reasons.

Anonymous said...

I have given up to write about Spore public transport. Take bus as example, the same old problems 20 years ago are still there despite numerous complaints. What can we do if no one listen?


jess said...

It is human nature not look at signs anymore once they know where they're heading.

I think you have an interest in this because you write a socio-political blog, but most of us aren't actively looking for materials to write in a blog so we don't notice. It's not apathy. It's just a fact of life.

Tan Kin Lian said...

To jess
People now accept apathy as a fact of life in Singapore.

jiajia said...

it's not that the light isn't lighted, it's a sticker pasted over the plastic light box...

Plebian said...

By highlighting this oddity of the signage, lower ranking employees will get the boot.

The ones in higher rank are insulated.

Please do not report this.

Imagine what could have happend:

Station Master reports defect.
Line manager is aware and has recorded it
Maintainence is informed but there are insufficient spares.
So the defect is not rectified.

Mr tan comes along and highlights the defect. Now, cyber space is abuzz with this. Senior management gets to hear about this.
A phone call is made.
The story goes back up the chain of command.
Another phone call is made.

Station master is recalled for debrief, and reprimanded for not excercising initiative. He/she gets letter of warning/advice and now his/her promotion is affected.

Who is responsible? Who will be demoralised and eventually resign and join the jobless queues?

Who remains unchanged and still has a job and.. dear lord! gets promoted too? ( for running a very tight and disciplined ship?)

Please do not highlight these things... very innocent employees who are poorly paid will have to bear the brunt.

Anonymous said...

Signage not lighted, flood at Orchard Road, big investment loss by GIC and Temasek holdings, etc......all these are signs of mis-management - the tops are not performing. Transparency and accountability are missing. The constant excuses given by the authority-concerned and the defensive attitude do not help either. I believe more and more Singaporean are fed up with the standard of present government leaders of not serving people with all hearts.

Anonymous said...

Here's what I observed of our buses too. Most of the buzzers don't work when commuters want to alight. Hence, these bus captains do not stop at certain bus stops when some commuters want to alight.

Shouldn't the respective bus captains be reporting to the depot to get them fixed?

Anonymous said...

Seriously if I notice it, I wont be bother, if they didn't notice it, they can employ more staffs to notice it, and I won't be worry as since my fare is going to increase, they will have the funding.

A Singaporean said...

The reason is very simple and pragmatic as well. How come none of the people here seem to notice the "dimmed" entry is actually a sticker pasted over an underlying sign?

In 2012, the Circle Line is going to be extended from Marymount to HarbourFront. Then, they will then tear off the sticker to reveal "to HarbourFront". No need to make the signs all over again! Save costs and reduce wastage.

Tan Kin Lian said...

Reply to 7:40 PM
It seemed that you have the answer to the mystery.

If it is a sticker, why don't they use a sticker that is Yellow in color, same as the color for Dhoby Ghaut?

A Singaporean said...

Huh, I don't understand. I thought all the letters are supposed to be white...

In fact, I don't like the white "Circle Line" text on yellow background. It is very difficult to read.

In any case, I think the sticker solution is quite innovative.

Tan Kin Lian said...

You are right. The color scheme is quite confusing. The station names are white. I was confused with the sign that shows the yellow background, which was quite prominent.

Anonymous said...

I pity the tourists, they will be confused.
If I did not recall wrongly, when the circle line was in construction the MRT maps are showing them in operation. This will confuse people esp the tourists.

Another complain about bus services..
In other countries when you arrive at a tourist destination, the driver will announce to the passengers. This can be seen in Japan. I do not see this happening in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Rex comments on Jess @10.20pm

Jess said "It is human nature not look at signs anymore once they know where they're heading" unquote.

That is a correct observation perhaps only if the lighted section of the signboard does correpsond to your daily destination and travel pattern for which you are anyway very familiar with, so you can afford to skip it.

But please think more globally, for those who are not going where you are going, they can't find the destination signage because the lights are dimmed, and that is poor customer service indeed.

Please think globally and you will see that it is wrong to have an attitude of "don't bother, live with it". There are people who will get confused and lost if the destination signage is blcoked when in fact the service is already operating.

Regarding another comment that we should not escalate this or the Station Master will have his promotion frozen, i would like to ask, "why not?"

Why must we blame the Minister for this rather petty issue? If I were the Station Master and my promotion were frozen because I overlooked it, i would either accept it like a man, or else defend myself (such as, i had already informed the Signage department but they didnt take action.. if this were true... blah blah).

We have to be fair sometimes, these are daily slip ups and we need to find out why before we slamdunk million dollar minister.

Million dollar ministers are meant to design policies and strategies (for which I agree they fail miserably in many ways!!), however, daily slipups in maintenance are in my view localised problems, not policy stuffs.

Do not see Station Manager as blameless in this issue. It is a dangerous precedent, in future, any idiot who makes a mistake, will be condoned and it is the Minister who is to be taken to task.

IT is the opposite extreme view. We need to balance our thinking, in my opinion.


STG said...

to be fair, the standard of SG public transport is good. if you have been around, you will know how bad and how expensive it costs on the trams, buses, trains in countries like UK, US, Scandinavia, JP, HK, MY, TH.

the only pity about SG is that the companies are being run as a private entity seeking to maximise profit on a public good. the excess returns are not being put into better use.

quality control checkers can be hired to ensure such minor hiccups are avoided and rectified. extra guards on patrols shifts can be hired instead of relying on foreign staff. sg has more than enuff able bodied men who can do simple shifts or making sure the parameters are safe.

being clean n green is another issue, the bus companies could take up. replace all the ageing fleet with cleaner buses. task our SMEs or GLCs to develop cleaner buses than jux modern weaponry. look at JP, Scandinavia and their environmental frendliness. we can learn from them.

making monetary gains thru maximising revenue n minimising cost should not be the sole goal of a public good provider.

Anonymous said...

REX comments as follows,

Regarding STG's comment 9.45am, there is a simpler less expensive way than to engage "QC checkers" as he put it.

We the consumers are the QC checkers!! free of charge.

The whole problem started when the government insists that feedback must have a traceable name and address. I don't like it. Why? Some people just leave a feedback that the signage is missing, but they prefer to remain anonymous. Whats wrong with that?

Because the govt does not listen to anybody without a name, many people tidak apa couldnt care less because they just don't like to publicise their name and write to Straits Times. Some people like some privacy, you have to respect that.

A problem is a problem. The government MUST listen to feedback regardless whether it has a name or not. It is their duty to figure out if it is a nuisance call or not. I think most people are sensible and don't report nonsense.

The govt must establish a clear feedback online system, so that all these problems (not just MRT but in all aspects of Singapore life) will be immediately responded to.

There is no need to write to Straits Times which is dinosaur media not to mention the tons of bureaucracy and censorship before it gets published on paper many days later. This is ancient way of working!!!

What is urgently needed to improve the standards of service is to open up online feedback channel, employ some full time goverhment staff to actively listen to all forms of complains even anonymous ones, and deal with them accordingly.

Is that asking too much of multimillion dollar ministers who refuse to listen to people without names?


Anonymous said...

It is really unbelievabe. SMRT spends years promting commuters to report any suspicious bag left on the trains to the station master,
this is for security reasons in case terrorism strikes on the trains, and yet the people there forgot their own backyard, and
allowed pranksters to enter their depot to spray graffitti on a cabin train. Even more increditable, this train has been operating for two days before the the operator realised the incident, after being alerted by a bystander.
SMRT don't act what they preach,
there is no credibility on what SMRT announces on the intercom anymore.
Such a bochap and tardy transport operator is the joke of the transport world.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes big problems can arise due to small and nitty gritty things not properly taken care of.

You can have an impressive and sophisticated or hi tech system but if the mundane and common sense things are ignored or overlooked, failures and disasters can or are waiting to happen.

It is often said that top leaders/management must be well paid to get so called top talents but what is the use if they don't apply their talents to ensure the system, resources, manpower etc all the way down is OK? They are still ultimately answerable! And they are paid for that!

Anonymous said...

To:June 17, 2010 9:36 PM....

I totally agreed with your observation regarding M'S case.
This is no small matter and how could he get away easily it really puzzled me??Till today I cannot understand the logic behind the whole episode.Will he be re-elected will be the next question in everyone's mind.Only time will tell.

Ah Pek

Anonymous said...

in sg, we all learn that for our own good, we learn to keep our mouth shut. very sad.,

Anonymous said...

we seem to be fault finders.

please let these issues rest.. its so petty!.. allow their own QC and audits to capture these things.

get a life

C H Yak said...

@ Rex
"The whole problem started when the government insists that feedback must have a traceable name and address. I don't like it. Why? Some people just leave a feedback that the signage is missing, but they prefer to remain anonymous. Whats wrong with that?"

The Leviathan mindset at work.

In the old days, the Govt need to create more jobs within the public sector, so they like to be bureaucratic in order to control everyone...but these days, it is better to be organic when the country is more educated.

They know how to push the responsibility to the public...but still retain the old "Leviathan" mindset for implementaing policies. We need to get rid of this mindset.

Blog Archive