Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hong Kong Tour: MRT experience

When I was with my wife in Hong Kong, one of the most memorable place is actually the MRT station!

When we were using the travellator crossing from one point to another in the underground railway station, soothing music flowed readily, invigorating our souls and making our wonderful trip even more romantic! Even more, I still had the tune of the music hardwired in my mind and heart!

In stressful Singapore, if life is not stressful enough, every day when I use the MRT train, I am being overwhelmed with lots of instructions every second: "Please do not cross the yellow line, for your own safety", "Train door closing","If you see any suspcious article, please report to the police". These messages are blasted once every minute. And to add to this frustrating medley of instructions, we have commercials blasting loudly from the overhead TV screens!

I am not joking! It is really stressful for a commuter of the train to start a fresh day being overwhelmed by all these messages and later to jostle with the unforgiving crowd choking the train, becoming the "2nd Michael Fay"!

With the opening of the Circle Line, there are now many underground interchanges linking from one line to another. At these interchanges, there is hardly any soothing music to help relive the stressful lives of Singaporeans unlike in Hong Kong.

In Singapore, I take the MRT train every day. In Hong Kong, I took the Mass Transit Rapid for only 4 days, but the good impression of my train experience in Hong Kong lasts me a lifetime!

Singapore MRT system has much to learn from its Hong Kong counterpart in forging the "heartware" of the train experience. Our hardware is not that comprehensive with security lapses at our Changi depot being exposed by Oliver Fricker, the ex-Swedish consultant who vanalised the train. He has been sentenced to 5 months and would receive 3 strokes of the rotan.