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Amidst Criticism, SMRT Is Pushing Out A Slew Of Updates To Improve Journey Experience

For Singapore’s largest rail operator, SMRT, 2017 was a year filled with train breakdowns and maintenance failure.

As track maintenance and technical failures cannot be avoided completely, SMRT has released an update for commuters on how to travel smart and efficiently.

New And Improved App – SMRTConnect 3.0

GIF Credit: Vulcan Post

The SMRTConnect app has been around since 2012.

But with the version 3.0 update, commuters can check train arrival timings before they reach the MRT station, know how long they’ll have to wait for a train when they reach the station through a train frequency indicator, and check bus information.

This allows the commuter to plan for their trip right before they leave home, so their commute to their destination will be efficient and smooth.

The improved user interface of the app also shows nearby MRT stations, bus stops, station-specific information, first and last train timings, and panoramic views of major MRT exits.

Commuters will also be notified of train delays via the app.

Said SMRT Chairman Seah Moon Ming:

Commuters are now given near real-time travel information. We are leveraging on technology to empower commuters to make timely travel decisions, particularly during train delays.

This technology relies on video and data analytics which are “harnessed from Wi-Fi access points, fare gate data and camera feeds at MRT stations” to make the SMRTConnect app even more useful.

Commuters using the SMRTConnect app will be able to get “platform-specific and carriage-specific assessment of crowds” and faster updates in the future.

New Initiatives Implemented In Train Stations

Image Credit: Sqfeed Journal

Through the SMRT Commuter Experience Touchpoints (SCET) programme that was initiated in 2014, dedicated care zones have been set up, priority queues were implemented, and charging kiosks for mobile devices were installed for commuters.

This update wants to improve on the accessibility of information at train stations.

Four-sided information stands called, iStands, are placed near MRT stations’ entrances so commuters can easily get train and ticket information, regulations, directions to nearby landmarks, and advice in the event of a delay.

The stands are currently on trial at Tanjong Pagar, Somerset, and Bugis MRT stations.

Digital Displays are installed to provide even more vital, bite-sized information to commuters, and new charging kiosks at 30 MRT stations across the North-South and East-West lines.

Posters with QR codes are placed in all MRT stations within their network so commuters can also retrieve train information there.

Finally, instead of having to approach a staff at the Passenger Service Centre for a physical travel slip when you are caught in a train delay, e-Slips (electronic travel slips) will be available at all MRT stations by mid-2018.

SMRT President and Group Chief Executive Officer Desmond Kuek stated that providing constructive commuter experience has been their focus and promises to gather more feedback for more improvements.

“Our upgraded mobile app, SMRTConnect 3.0, and other information enablers at our stations, will improve the speed, accuracy and accessibility of travel information, especially when there is a service disruption,” he said.

Our commitment is to deliver a safe, reliable, efficient and comfortable transport service for all our commuters. We thank our commuters for their continued support.

These are all useful implementations and we are looking forward to faster and smoother train rides.

You can try out the SMRTConnect app (iOS here and Android here), and let us know if it helped you!

Featured Image Credit: Whattaworld WordPress

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