Wednesday, September 5, 2012

SMRT train system.

Linna's first SMRT ride.

If you google "Singapore Subway System", you'll be linked to the popular Subway Sandwich locations in Singapore. While New York City refers to their underground train system as the "subway", Singapore refers to theirs as the SMRT. Of all the mass transit systems I've used around the world, Singapore's is by FAR the easiest, cleanest, and safest. Taxis in Singapore are great, but they were getting a little expensive!

Security cameras (see above) everywhere.

I decided to take my one-year-old and figure out the SMRT on my own on a Wednesday afternoon. We had a class at Our Music Studio at 11:30 a.m. at Tanglin Mall, so I decided to go online and figure out our route BEFORE we hit the concourse. According to the online map, we would have to make one train switch, and our trip would take about a half-hour (not bad).

Double doors that open once the train has stopped at the platform.

So clean and new-looking.

The first thing I noticed about the SMRT is how CLEAN and BIG it is. There are signs telling people that eating and drinking is NOT allowed on the SMRT, and if you're caught you face a $500 fine. The inside of the trains look like they had just been cleaned. There isn't any garbage on the floor, no homeless people sleeping on the seats, or panhandlers approaching us for money. There are also security cameras almost everywhere! I felt completely safe with Linna by myself.

There are also automatic doors that open and close when a train is parked on the platform, so there's no chance of a person falling onto the tracks. I know this doesn't happen too often in NYC, but it does happen! There are lines clearly marking where people should exit off the train, and where people should enter onto the train. This eliminates the pushing and shoving that I've seen when people get on and off the trains.

Electronic signs telling you how long until the next train arrives.

Clear markings telling you where to enter and exit the train.

The SMRT is very child and family-friendly. There's designated seats for the elderly, pregnant women, and people with small children. It's a system I'd actually WANT to ride again. Plus it's dirt cheap (like $2 a ride). Figuring out how to get to my destination after I was on the street (outside the SMRT) is another story. I knew Linna's music class was a 10-15 minute walk after we got onto the street, but I could NOT figure out where I was. I tried asking people where Tanglin Mall was, but because of the language barrier, no one could help me. One man told me we had to get on a bus to get there. Getting on a bus after a half-hour on a train was not my idea of a good time... especially with a stroller.

I knew where we were at all times. I never felt "lost"... until I hit the street.

I ended up giving up on getting us to Linna's music class in time, and we headed back to our apartment for lunch. At least getting back home was a breeze!

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