MRT trains to get new display screens

An SMRT train travelling along the North-South line between Bishan and And Mo Kio stations.
An SMRT train travelling along the North-South line between Bishan and And Mo Kio stations. PHOTO: ST FILE

These will show route, station info and help people navigate from train platform to exits

Commuters who are confused while making their way around MRT interchange stations such as Dhoby Ghaut or Paya Lebar will soon get some help with directions through new display screens on trains.

From the second half of this year, 50 new trains on the North-South and East-West lines will have screens that display not only route information, but also station information to help commuters navigate from the train platform to the exits.

The screens, which replace the current route maps, will also have information about landmarks in the area.

Route maps on older trains, which were introduced in 2008, will progressively be changed over the next two years.

The use of these screens will allow public transport operator SMRT to update information on maps without needing to replace the existing display.

The SMRT Active Route Map Information System (Staris) 2.0 was on display yesterday at SMRT's first Customer Experience Innovation Conference, held at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability.

The conference, attended by 500 SMRT staff, featured presentations by nine speakers from various organisations on the topic of service excellence.

It also featured other technological innovations aimed at improving customer service, such as a new passenger information system at bus interchanges.

The new touchscreen panels will show bus services and departure timings as well as information about traffic congestion to help commuters plan their journeys.

They will also provide information about events happening nearby.

These panels will be available at the upcoming Woodlands Temporary Interchange in March before being introduced at other interchanges.

Speaking at the conference, SMRT president and group chief executive Desmond Kuek said that major train disruptions and reliability issues in recent years had "shaken public confidence" in the corporation.

He added that these incidents prompted SMRT to focus on customer service and win several service excellence awards in the last two years. "We needed to regain the trust and confidence of all our stakeholders," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 22, 2016, with the headline 'MRT trains to get new display screens'. Print Edition | Subscribe