S'pore MRT can learn from Hong Kong's system

Having spent two decades working in Hong Kong, I cannot help comparing the city's transport system with ours.

One big difference is in the passenger service counters.

In Hong Kong, commuters can top up their cards and buy single-trip tickets at these counters.

In Singapore, the counter provides only topping-up service, and tickets can be bought only at the ticketing machines.

Those who do not understand the four languages used at the machines (English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil) will have a hard time buying tickets. This will result in long queues, especially during peak hours.

For the convenience of seniors and tourists, the counters should provide a single-trip ticket purchase service.

Something else I found useful in Hong Kong is the map showing the whole subway network that is always displayed above or next to the ticketing machines.

This makes it easier for commuters to find the stations they would like to visit and plan their trip prior to buying their tickets from the machine.

In Singapore, the map is usually some distance away from the machines.

If one is not familiar with our complex MRT network, it would be difficult to find the stations on the small screen. This, again, would hold up the line.

I hope our MRT operators can consider these two suggestions to make commuting more pleasant and user-friendly.

David Kong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 02, 2017, with the headline 'S'pore MRT can learn from Hong Kong's system'. Print Edition | Subscribe