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Enhanced SMRT app provides real-time information on train arrivals and frequency

SMRT Corporation Ltd (SMRT), one of Singapore’s largest public transportation providers, has released an enhanced version of its travel planning app, called SMRTConnect (available on Google Play and App Store).

Launched in 2012, SMRTConnect provides commuters with service-related information for SMRT’s train and bus services, as well as travel suggestions for journey planning. Over the past six years, SMRT has introduced regular updates to the SMRTConnect app to keep it up-to-date and relevant.

The updated version features a real-time information system enabling commuters to check train arrival time before they arrive at the station, get an indication of how long they will have to wait to board a train upon arrival through a train frequency indicator, or even check for bus service information for any bus stop in Singapore. The app also provides an indication of how crowded the bus is and whether it is wheelchair-friendly.

In addition, the user interface has been improved, offering faster information updates and easier navigation. Once opened, commuters will immediately see their nearby MRT stations and bus stops and obtain station-specific information such as first and last train timings, and panoramic views of major MRT station exits, with just a few finger taps.

Screenshots from the updated SMRTConnect app/ Credit: SMRT

SMRT plans to leverage video and data analytics, harnessed from Wi-Fi access points, fare gate data and camera feeds at MRT stations, to improve the user experience for SMRTConnect. In the future, SMRTConnect users can obtain platform-specific and carriage-specific assessment of crowds and get speedier updates on the status of MRT services via the app.

Mr Seah Moon Ming, SMRT Chairman, said: “Your journey matters. 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. SMRTConnect 3.0 provides accurate train and bus arrival timings to commuters anytime, anywhere. Commuters can expect more enhancements to SMRTConnect within the year.” 

In recent months, SMRT’s train network has suffered repeated disruptions, such as the October 7 tunnel flooding between Bishan and Braddell MRT stations and the November 15 train collision at Joo Koon MRT Station and others, resulting in a dip in public confidence (though they remained positive).

Along with increasing engineering and track access time to fix operational issues, better handling communications can play a crucial role in restoring public trust.  

In addition to the updated SmartConnect, recent initiatives for improving information accessibility include iStands, which are four-sided informational panels are strategically located near station entrances for quick and easy access to vital information such as station and train information, ticket information, regulations, proximity of nearby landmarks, as well as advice to commuters in the event of a train service delays. They are currently on trial at Currently on trial at Tanjong Pagar, Somerset and Bugis MRT Stations.

New Digital Displays have been installed at Passenger Service Centres to update commuters on train services, and provide answers to common queries, while charging kiosks, installed at 30 MRT stations across North-South and East-West Lines, are equipped with digital screens for commuters to view next train arrival timings as they charge their mobile devices.

QR-embedded posters have been put up since November 2017 at all stations in the MRT network, providing commuters with information on alternative travel options in the event of a service disruption.

Electronic travel slips will be available at all MRT stations by the middle of this year for commuters who need proof of travel when a service disruption occurs. This removes the inconvenience of commuters having to obtain a printed travel slip from service staff at the Passenger Service Centres.

SMRT President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Desmond Kuek, said: “Ensuring a positive commuter experience has been a key focus over the years. Many new initiatives have been put in place, and many more are being rolled out this year. We will continue to gather feedback from our commuters on where else can be improved for a positive journey experience. 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.  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.”

Featured image: Seloloving/ CC BY-SA 4.0

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