The LRT (Light Rail Transit) system is the light rail component of Singapore's rail network consisting of localised rail systems acting as feeder services to the Mass Rapid Transit network. THe first LRT opened in 1999 and the system has since expanded to 3 lines, each serving a public housing estate, namely Bukit Panjang, Sengkang and Punggol respectively.
The LRT always reminds me of the Sentosa trams that take me to USS or to the beach - the feeling one gets when in the LRT is one of spaciousness as most of the stations are outdoors rather than underground. In fact, you actually do get to look out and enjoy the estates as they pass you by - so different from the underground prison of a tunnel that traps the entire MRT within.
Yet, it is unfortunate that the LRT is only available in some residential areas. Thinking about it, the LRT is just the mini version of the MRT - if it were to be used everywhere then perhaps, it too, would be swamped by the MRT problems as well.
Recently, MRT seemed to be riddled with obstacles. Especially those involving technical difficulties. Passengers even had to alight and walk on the tracks to a nearby station! Fortunately, these type of tales are unheard of when it comes to LRTs.
However, I think the LRT infrastructure could be much better. As of now, service is small-scale and it only serves a small section of Singapore. With the rising population numbers, the government could look into developing the LRT in more areas of Singapore instead of building MRT lines. Waiting times for LRT can also be quite long. It does not get as much attention as the MRT but I think this should change. Service and quality levels should be improved to ensure better transport experiences for everyone.
The LRT experience is actually comparable to a skytram experience. Not only does it goes slower than an MRT, but the tracks are above ground, conferring paranomic views of the surroundings that the LRT is travelling through. Such a sight is really beautiful especially in Sengkang West and Punggol, as you pass through areas yet undeveloped and get to admire the rural landscape that you thought extinct in Singapore.
I had a few epic experiences with the LRT. For example, Sengkang Town Centre (STC), which hosts both red and yellow lines each going West and East respectively. I had the experience of boarding a West line LRT not once, but 3 times simply because I wasn't paying attention to the signs. Hence, I wasted 30 minutes getting out the stop after STC and taking back again for a few times.
Overall, I felt that the LRT system is a really great idea! I feel that it would really viable decision to employ it in bigger towns so as to get residents to the town centre (with MRT, bus interchange and shopping mall) much faster! The only limitation that I can forsee is the narrow streets and roadside blocks which may result in noise pollution for local residents.