5 Things You Didn’t Know About MRTs

You know which MRT stations are haunted. You know when a limited edition EZ-Link card is released. You know the fastest route to get from one station to another, and you know almost everything else about MRTs — or do you? Here are 5 other things that you (probably) never knew.

  1. You can’t pass things between paid and unpaid areas.

It’s true. Pass an item across the barrier and prepare to get fined $2,000. Now, whenever you have a Carousell meet up arranged, you have to tap out/in, which I’m sure we can all agree is such a hassle. As if it’s not annoying enough, doing so will also cost you more on your train fare, although I guess a few cents is better than a whopping $2,000. Time to increase the prices of your listed items?

  1. The emergency button only works when the train is stationary.

Mind-boggling, right? In response to an LRT missing three stops despite having its Emergency Halt Request button pressed many times, SMRT explained that the button can only be activated when the train (both MRT and LRT) is at a complete stop in a station, to prevent it from moving off again. Um… looks like all we can do is pray that a train with a faulty antenna (that’s supposed to allow it to stop accurately at each station) doesn’t also have a faulty Automatic Train Protection System that ensures safe separation between trains.

  1. Step away from the door!

We all know that we shouldn’t be touching the train doors when they are closing because, duh. When someone gets stuck though, technically we can get fined for holding on to the doors to prevent it from closing on them. While it’s true that those who get stuck usually are the ones who asked for it because they somehow refuse to wait for the next train, that’s still a little harsh on them, and on the good samaritans.

  1. The Disneyland that was never to be…

The seemingly endless 6-minute journey between Yio Chu Kang and Khatib actually covers the longest distance between any 2 consecutive stations. The reason why they are so damn far? Because apparently there was supposed to be another station in between, reserved for the Disneyland that ended up in Hong Kong instead, along with cute Mickey Mouse-themed trains. At least now we have Universal Studios to make up for it.

  1. SMRT had a superhero mascot…?

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Captain SMRT. Created as a mascot in 2005 for SMRT’s Courtesy and Safety Programme, this superhero donned red and grey, complete with a face mask and cape. He was supposed to promote safe commuter behaviour and the train system’s safety measures, but has since disappeared. With all the recent train breakdowns, maybe we should bring him back.