I must confess that on 2nd January 2019, as I walked towards the car park to start my first taxi shift after a sixteen months break, I was edgy and excited like a rookie on the first day at work.
Every instruments in the taxi seem intimidating, the taxi fare meter, MDT, Grab & SMRT driver application.
Even starting the taxi takes a bit of time to rationalize how to do it as new technologies has revolutionize every operation from manual to digital technology.
I used SMRT Taxishare application on my smartphone to unlock and lock the taxi door instead of a conventional key and token.
I believe you know that we don't need a taxi driver to drive a cab nowadays. In fact, driver-less taxi is now available in Singapore. (Link)
Anyway, on my first day at work, I was hoping to start the day off on the lucky mode with no traffic summons, accidents free and meeting friendly customers. Unfortunately, some unanticipated issues spoiled my day. SMRT taxi's MDT is the spoiler.
Before, I touch on my of my first day and subsequent days of grievances, please let me briefly explain what's a MDT.
MDT (Mobile Data Terminal) is a computerized device used in public transit like taxis, buses, police cars, trucking fleet, to communicate with central dispatch office. It has a screen with keyboard to view and key-in information. In taxis, we can use it to view our day's earning, details of each trip and also set "BUSY", "Change Shift", "TAXI", "HIRED" at roof top lamp.
Now, when I key-in my ID and PIN onto the MDT to activate my account, it rejected my details and said "I'm not allowed to drive this taxi".
Calmly, I called up the SMRT hotline to report the issue and drove the taxi for the rest of the day with a non-working MDT.
Shockingly, the same and other MDT related problems persisted in the next four days with no solution in sight till now.
In 4 days (from 2/1 to 5/1), I drove 4 different SMRT Taxishare taxis.
Out of thes 4 taxis, 3 had MDT faults. This is ridiculous to say the least.
It seems that frequent SMRT Train breakdown and faults are spreading to SMRT's Taxis Link
In desperation, I emailed SMRT and highlighted my grief in SMRT Facebook Group.