Train disruptions set back smart city, car-lite plans

The frequent MRT disruptions do not augur well for Singapore's bid to evolve into a smart city ("Mysterious signal fault hits Circle Line again"; yesterday).

We are so advanced that we are testing driverless taxis.

We are able to switch on our air-conditioners while doing our shopping, and we can see what is happening in our homes by just looking at our mobile phones.

Robots can even take over menial work in hospitals.

With all this technological advancement, I am perplexed to see that our MRT system is frequently riddled with breakdowns and disruptions.

In the disruptions on Wednesday, SMRT and the Land Transport Authority said they had arranged with the Infocomm Media Development Authority and mobile network operators to suspend telecommunication signals along stretches of the affected MRT lines for short periods, to establish if telco signals were behind the interference.

I hope this is not the case, and will not lead to commuters being denied telco services in trains in the future. This will certainly set us back in our Smart Nation endeavours.

It is stressful now to take the train, as we never know if plans will be disrupted, or if we will miss important events such as exams.

Unless the glitches plaguing the MRT system are resolved once and for all, our car-lite vision will be an uphill battle.

Neo Poh Goon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2016, with the headline 'Train disruptions set back smart city, car-lite plans'. Print Edition | Subscribe