The mobile app is easy enough to use and accurate, but how useful it would be in the midst of a train delay or rail disruption is yet to be seen.
The enhanced SMRT Connect app was launched on Monday (Feb 5).
SINGAPORE: It’s about 8.30am on the first day of February, with the sun in full blaze a day after having its spotlight usurped by the super blue blood moon.
The crowds are fast streaming in at Chinese Garden MRT station, walking briskly from the neighbouring residential estates or unloaded, en masse, from a continual stream of buses at the front of the station.
I was testing SMRT’s enhanced SMRTConnect mobile app this morning, which it announced last November.
Then, it said the app will be rolled out in three phases starting in December and some of the features include allowing commuters to see train arrival timings updated in real time to include the recovery time while rail engineers fix faults. Users will also be able to see how many trains they may have to wait for before being able to board.
Firing it up, the SMRTConnect app looked like any other map app, with nearby bus stops and train stations prominently highlighted using enlarged icons.
Tapping on them would reveal information such as the buses that stop at the particular bus stop and arrival timing, as well as train arrival timings in the various directions.
Under the Bus section of the app, users can search by the bus number or the bus stop they are at. Arrival timings for the buses are also supplemented with colour-coded details like if there are seats available (in green) or if standing room is available (in yellow) or there is limited standing (in red).
For the MRT section, the map of the entire rail system in Singapore can be seen. But it’s not just a static map. Tapping on a specific train station will bring arrival timings of the next two trains and, if the selected is an interchange station, timings for trains on the various lines will also be shown.
But back to my journey, and I was travelling to Tanjong Pagar for an appointment this morning. Using the journey planner, it allows passengers to find out how long the journey would be via a train or bus.
A few taps later, I found out that my train journey on the East-West Line would take 29 minutes. The time was 8.48am.