Shanghai's colour-coded system points the way

Shanghai's colour-coded system points the way


When it comes to signage at MRT stations, Singapore can learn something from Shanghai ("MRT station signs to be improved"; last Saturday).

Before I went to Shanghai, I had heard about the chaos of riding its subway system (on account of the city's huge population), and was worried.

But when I was there with my elderly mother and in-laws last year, we all found the system very user-friendly. Even my mother, who often ends up on the wrong line or train, had positive comments for Shanghai's subway signage.

Signs are huge. Colour-differentiated word signs hang from ceilings, huge colour-coded footprints are pasted on the floor, and more signs on pillars guide passengers to the correct pathway and platform, right from the ticketing gateway.

It does not matter if one cannot understand Chinese, because the colour coding is very easy to understand.

At the platform, one never has to worry about taking the train in the wrong direction, because the signs above the platform would state the previous, current and next stations.

I hope the company that the Land Transport Authority appoints to upgrade the signs will come up with a similar system that will benefit all.

This article was first published on March 31, 2015.
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