The SMRT Breakdowns

Photo credit: Wikipedia

The Singapore MRT, from an appreciation standpoint, is like what parents are to spoilt, ungrateful kids.

The MRT deals with complaints every day from the people it serves, despite the engineers tirelessly working through the nights to make sure things don’t go haywire. Much like parents who strive really hard to make a living for the family, only to receive ungracious remarks in return from us immature kids, when we are unhappy with their seemingly overbearing concern.

As the country grows with increasing needs for better transportation options to different areas of Singapore, more train lines are built on top on existing old, possibly faulty tracks which require extensive maintenance. The sheer amount of management required mirrors our parents’ hardship in growing our slowly maturing selves and dealing with our ever-expanding needs, interests, and emotions. And they never stop. They never rest even for a day. Because it’s impossible to – imagine if the whole train service went offline for a day.

So stop venting your frustrations all the time. Spare a thought for the train company – transportation is a tough problem, especially with a network of intertwining service lines like Singapore’s. (Safety over performance, in possible contrast to Japan.) No one wants the train services to break down – and it’s uncourteous to rage on social media at even the slightest non-life-threatening incident. Imagine if your colleague complains about your work attitude on Facebook. If change is necessary, file an official complaint. Go to Or gather proper momentum through structured observations and suggestions on social media.

Think of ways to make use of the extra transportation time from possible delays. Read books or articles. Learn a language. Listen to podcasts. Write a blog. (This post is written from snippets of time on the train.) If you really hate commute, move closer to your workplace. And if you missed an interview because of the breakdown, really, you should have accommodated for the extra time from possible accidents.

Maybe the SMRT isn’t doing its best. But what it needs is official feedback and constructive criticism, instead of meaningless complaints on social media that aggravate our stressed minds every day. Let’s build a more mindful society, and ready ourselves to handle these disruptions in life.

This is an opinionated article, feel free to discuss.


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