Jesús Estrada, a student of Libra Academy in Huntington Park, California (USA), is planning on visiting Singapore. The reason he wants to visit our country is because he wants to study how our MRT connects millions of people “of different Asian ancestry” as they travel from home to work.
“And this is probably one of Singapore’s biggest failures in its first 50 years: We have failed to develop a worldclass ecosystem of public transport. We do have a good public transport network, but this has not kept pace with the population’s expectations, which include a more reliable MRT system with fewer breakdowns, predictable bus services, taxis available in thundery showers, and pools of electric cars for ready rental.” – ex-Diplomat Kishore Mahbubani
And he chose to study Singapore over other cities because our transport system is “leaps and bounds ahead of that of the other transportation agencies due to its advanced technology, its coordinated planning with the urban growth of the city, and the reverence residents have for it”.
Jesús said that when in Singapore, he plans to take lots of pictures and also talk to the shop-owners in the MRT stations. He is interested to know how commuters interact with one another in the trains.
Pointing out that the riders of his train system in Los Angeles are “primarily low-income,” the student said that commuters here would probably be different – “working-class citizens” and “rich passengers”.
And Jesús wants to speak with some of the “rich passengers” who take the train.
He should probably try and get an appointment speak to Professor Kishore Mahbubani who once quoted ex-mayor of Colombian capital Bogota, Mr Enrique Penalosa, saying “a developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It’s where the rich use public transportation.”
Most importantly the high school student intends to interview SMRT officials to better understanding how the MRT is “operated so well that people like it.”
He is interested to study our train system and hopes that his documentation “could possibly help Los Angeles let go of the car.”
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