If you think the SMRT is bad, wait until you see the Philippines' MRT 3 problems - Alvinology

If you think the SMRT is bad, wait until you see the Philippines’ MRT 3 problems

Thanks to the flooding that happened last October, where Bishan station was submerged in waist-deep dirty water, Singaporeans are calling for accountability for the horrid Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) system’s problems.

As reports came in, details of shoddy maintenance and neglect surfaced, which has basically put all SMRT employees into question.

The disgusting incident did involve dirty water in an underground railway system, that not only inconvenienced thousands, but put hundreds at risk.

Aside from the horrible flooding, Singaporeans have to deal with disruptions because the maintenance system has not been working. This means that to ensure the flooding doesn’t happen again, trains need to be serviced.

The situation is bad enough to warrant government inquiry and a media spotlight that doesn’t look like it will move on for quite some time.

But is it truly that bad?

Well, if you’ve never been on another rail system, the SMRT’s problems do appear quite horrid. With the flooding that happened last October, it’s hard to imagine anything worse than disgusting water coming into the station and stinking up the place while you jostle for space in an already-crowded train.

But do Singaporeans truly have it that bad?

Meet the Philippines’ Metro Rail Transit 3

If you think waist-deep flood waters aren’t enough, check out what Philippine train commuters have to deal with everyday.

It’s plagued by the usual woes of an inefficient train system.

It’s hot, crowded and everybody pushes. There is a culture of everyone trying to get ahead of one another, so some fights break out and people even lose things in the gap between train and platform.

Passengers overflowing outside the station is normal.

This doesn’t happen just because there’s a delay. This happens every single day during rush hour.

The train has literally crashed through a station.

That’s right. A few years ago, a train crashed through the last station and onto one of the busiest intersections in Metro Manila. 38 people were injured.

Even when you’re on the train, you can get left behind.

How, you ask? One car literally got detached from the rest of the train. This happened quite recently, and the passengers were forced to walk along the tracks (which is usually illegal and punishable by law in the Philippines) as the location of the detachment was in a tunnel.

If you think the SMRT is bad, wait until you see the Philippines' MRT 3 problems - Alvinology

Trains have run while the doors are still open.

We guess this is when the train decides it wants to live the thug life.

Someone has literally lost an arm to the trains.

Just this month, a woman had her arm chopped off as she alighted the train. She was dizzy and disoriented and had fallen between two cars, and was not pulled back in time. Luckily, a doctor was passing by when the incident happened and her arm has been re-attached. You can watch how it happened below. Not for the faint of heart.

What do you think of the Philippines’ MRT 3?

Can you believe that this line traverses the busiest road in the country every single day and is just one single line?

Singaporeans take a lot of things for granted, especially since they forget that they live in one of the richest, most technologically-progressive countries in the world. While the state of the SMRT is a hotly-contended issue between the government and the people who actually use the transportation system everyday, there is still a lot to be thankful for.



  1. I agree with the writer this is what is happening in Manila.
    The LRT & MRT is crowded morning till early evening. Naturally it’s worse during morning & evening peak hrs. I travel to manila every month & witness the patience commuters there ensure. Can u imagine standing & waiting along the walkway outside (rain or shine) 30 to 45mins before boarding the train. And it’s packed like sardines inside.
    We have to count our blessings in Singapore.
    And another point, u don’t want to be stuck in vehicular traffic on the road. A 15 km ride can 1hr or more.
    If we feel cars are expensive in Singapore & we have a lousy MRT, try taking the public transport (LRT, MRT, bus, jeepneys) & u will know what I mean

    1. Comparison should be made Apple to Apple and when we make comparisons compare with the best that way we can strive to be the best and have a reliable transport.

    2. How can we compare with the Philippines its an unfair comparison why not compare with Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea etc.. This are the transport we are supposed to compare with and learn from them.
      The comparison the writer wrote is like in a race an athlete vs a person who never run before guess who will win? Why not the athlete challenge vs the other best athlete in the world?

  2. Instead of comparing with the worst or average systems why not compare with the best. Comparison have to be made Apple to apple not Apple to orange.

  3. Philippine is relatively behind Singapore in MRT & also level of competence should be a question !
    Why Singapore have such problem with 30+ year in services ?
    What the government is doing since it emphasize on importance of public transportation to curb over populated car on roads ?
    Sad to said Singapore is still incompetence in many area beside this MRT problem

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