The Straits Times
Published on Dec 06, 2012

Enamoured by HK's train service


I HAVE just got back from Hong Kong. The trains there travel much smoother, quieter, more frequently and faster compared to ours. The signs are placed so strategically and clearly that you have no fear of losing your way. When you come out of the MTR, the road signs to important landmarks are directly in front of you.

The display on public buses show clearly which is the next stop and the nearby landmarks, followed by an announcement before each stop. Singapore's puts up routine instructions, like reminders to move to the back, but little real information for commuters.

Hong Kong's Octopus card is accepted so universally, from vending machines, ferries and buses to most shops and eateries in the airport that one wonders why the EZ-Link and Nets FlashPay systems are not so in Singapore. The customer-friendly convenience is the key difference between Singapore and Hong Kong.

Lim Boon Hee (Dr)