I refer to the article posted in TechInAsia here.
As much as I want to change the STARiS V2.0 (it really does seem unprofessional), however the author does not seem to recognise other features that one could find inside a train. It could be potentially questionable to whether the author did even take said train before, as some of the “issues” the author pointed out are already a non-issue.
Let me take a breakdown of the points with reference to the above-mentioned article.
STARiS V1.0 when it was implemented, the map display is actually already planned ahead, but the change that really required them to change this system is the Canberra MRT between Sembawang and Yishun.
However even it would only open in 2019, around the same time when Thomson-East Coast Line would open.
This would mean they could potentially use this system all the way till 2019, as the map also has DTL 3 stations labelled (Expo & Tampines).
Therefore they are not in a hurry to change the system, they have at least 2 years.
1. Yes, I do agree it is ugly.
When it was first unveiled to the public via a press release in early 2016, I almost spat my covfefe (coffee).
However, the general public won’t give a damn about the font used (unless it’s Comic Sans), as long as they are legible and easy to read.
It could be improved in the future with possibly more modern themed icons, but as long as they are easy to understand, it’s fine.
2. Yes, it does not show the full train network most of the time.
However, there is a fatal flaw with this argument.
Image credits to SgTrains.
Look closely to the two objects inside the red rectangle that’s pointed out in the first picture above. They’re static route maps.
What are their purpose? It’s to allow commuters to have something to refer to!
The panel map has an almost identical layout as the default map used in STARiS V1.0.
The smaller sticker has the most up-to-date system map.
There’s no excuse of having no maps to refer to, honestly.
No information is being removed, honestly.
3. Geographically accurate vs System diagram
Blah, blah blah. I’ve went through this already above. There’s already a system map available for people to refer to! It is there all the time as well!
I felt that the geographically accurate map is a nice touch for people to judge their travelling distance, and it points out the direction of the train as well.
4. Slideshow of nearby landmarks.
Credits to Maxson Goh.
Ironically the images doesn’t need to be labelled because the pictures themselves are labelled.
Unless you couldn’t read “SEMBAWANG“, “SUN PLAZA“?
If you are unable to realise, all the images shown are either landmarks or pictures that label themselves.
They don’t just show any pictures taken by Tom, Dick or Harry. They’re all probably carefully chosen so that one can easily recognise the landmark if that were to be the commuter’s destination.
This is particularly useful for tourists who probably have seen many pictures of such said landmark but haven’t been there before.
5. I agree that the lack of carriage labelling makes that platform layout quite useless.
Only if you’re either in the first or last carriage, otherwise this won’t help at all.
6. Slow animations.
Credits to Maxson Goh.
Yes the text animations are slow, but it’s animated to allow the text to be where the said way out, otherwise it’d just be all clashed together in a mess, like “ESCALATORSLIFTSESCALATORS”.
However, if you take a closer look, there’s icons denoting a lift, escalators, and stairs. These are easy to see and are always there.
7. Overly-detailed station maps.
As much as a detailed map may frustrate someone, but it’s important to take a closer look to why they decide on showing you a detailed map.
One main purpose you could see is the Passenger Service Center (PSC) that’s labelled in a distinguishable green. That is important to note of, if you have a issue.
Another thing you could identify is the paid area. The gantries are easily seen as well and you could see where you would be facing once you tap out. This is good if you’re in a hurry.
As much as it may be overly-detailed, labelling of the PSC, escalators/lifts/stairs, gantries, paid area (by a shaded area) and the exits would be good enough.
Also, there is nothing wrong with the labelling. There is indeed a “Sri Mariamman Temple” at Khatib.
It is a cool 15 minutes walk, just opposite of Khatib Camp. But it’s there.
8. Multilingual Displays
Multilingual displays generally couldn’t work as well in Singapore as most of the places in Singapore are literally directly translated into one of the 4 languages.
May be helpful in the future, but not a direct requirement.
You can’t use Japan as a direct comparison because their main display language is foreign to most people, including tourists. In Singapore, everything is English by default.
9. Connecting Bus Services
There is no need for this as there is already a notice board dedicated to displaying all dedicated bus service routes linking each MRT station from that station.
It’s equally easy to just whip out your smartphone to find out about bus services at your MRT Station in just a matter of minutes, way before you even reach your MRT stop.
The STARiS V2.0 isn’t a perfect rendition, but however it isn’t the worst.
As much as it may be an annoyance and irritation during your travelling experience, just avoid the new trains, simple.
It’s more important for SMRT and LTA to focus on establishing the Thales CBTC system first before anything else, if I’m honest.