Monday, October 3, 2011

The Circle Line Of Life

The Circle Line fully opens on Saturday, but don't expect commuting times or service levels to improve. LTA spent $5.9 million not on state-of-the-art transportation and security enhancements, but artwork - to make the waiting between trains seem a a lot shorter. No tuck yew, commuters expect to clear in and out of transport depots speedily so they can get to their places of work or study on time and on schedule. The last thing anyone in  a hurry needs is to wade through throngs of sight seers gawking at murals in order to catch the rare train with standing room remaining.

Better signage for information on train destinations would have been welcomed, given the obfuscating mix of commuter lines being developed. Soon, we may require GPS guidance to board the correct connecting line. What we don't need is misinformation about a imaginary film that will never be coming to a theatre near you, despite what the 9-meter tall poster promised. The artist may think it's interesting to make a giant poster about a fictitious movie that would never come about, but commuters are more concerned about real-life trains that will arrive, on time and on schedule. Nobody cares for humongous  posters that are paid out of taxpayers' pockets. Guys might bitch about the Knightsbridge mall mural, but at least Abercrombie & Fitch picked up the bill for that.

Associate Professor Cheok of Mixed Reality Lab of NUS must really come down to earth if he expects any inspiring verse to be flashed on his giant SMS screen. Dr Cheok has included a filter system to block out obscene words (which probably includes "Tuck Yew! Tuck Yew!") in several languages and record the telephone number of the contributor. Mao would surely have loved to have this electronic billboard for his "Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom" campaign (more accurately termed the Hundred Flowers Movement -simplified Chinese: 百花运动). It would have been so much easier to flush out dissidents before wiping them out, since big wall posters do not carry identifying phone numbers. Maybe this one is subsidized by the ISD.

If hordes of idling tourists trying to figure out art from crap at the stations are bad enough, wait till the foodies cascade to the food outlets near the train stations. On fears the Botanic Gardens, one of few quiet spots in Singapore for nature lovers, will never be the same again when the Circle Line violates the serenity of the environs. One possible development is that the troublesome monkeys may be irritated by the train noise and retreat deep into the sanctity of the trees, instead of disturbing the peace of the park. The train will be disgorging pesky humans to replace their functional roles.


  1. Come on fren! We can afford to splurge!
    There is no time and no Rose to smell in Sin,
    at least now we got arts at train stations to 'cuci' mata(to gaze at). There maybe nothing to appreciate, but, there is at least something to look at, nice or otherwise. Commuters don't have to look at their feet or at the ceiling anymore.
    Poor Singaporeans cannot look at each others into the eyes, otherwise they will become wilder than the wild monkeys.

  2. MOT just do not get it do they?

    We do not need anything fanciful. Just trains or buses that arrive on time and at a reasonable interval.

    My friends who just came back form moscow were totally impressed with their metro. Not because they are new, they are made of wood and pretty old, NOT because they are not crowded, they are also packed like sardine.

    SIMPLY because, the next train will arrive in 90 seconds. Imagine, a train every 90 sec. Wow, when can we have that ?

    For a person who rely on public transport, the waiting time is agonising and many a time, a mere waste of time. Ever waited for a bus for 45 mins and still no sign of it ? Its really painful.

  3. Yes. Wait and wait. All because the transport companies and those higher up are all profit oriented. They suck money and time out of us.

  4. Joe Krishnan10/03/2011 2:21 PM

    whats the point of having all this fancy stuff when the country supposedly cant afford universal health care for the elderly?

  5. Artworks from the depot intruders were free and more colourful.

  6. Has anyone else noticed? This must be the only Circle Line in the world that does not form a complete circle. The whole idea of a circle line (as in the London Tube) is to form a seamless continuous loop.

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