MY FAMILY was up for a fun and enjoyable time at Jerudong Park on December 17 but it turned out to be an utterly frustrating and disappointing experience due to the GOPO Train Ride.
My family of 7 (including two kids) tried to catch the GOPO train at around 5.30pm to explore the playground but we were late and missed the train. Not to disappoint the kids who so eagerly wanted to experience the ride, we decided to wait for the next train. We waited for more than one hour for the next GOPO train, which finally got moving at 6.35pm. Just 2-3 minutes later we were all asked to get off the train at the next station and before we even reached our destination (the original station where we boarded the train).
When the conductor asked us to get off the train, we said we did not want to alight because we wanted to explore the park and return to the original destination/station. Without providing any valid reasons, the conductor asked us to get off right there, and go line up (again) in the queue to board the train at that station.
Why did we have to line up again when we were already sitting inside the train? Does it mean that if there are five stops/stations at the playground, we have to get off at every single station and queue again to board the train? This doesn’t make sense at all.
If anyone has been on any train rides in playgrounds in other countries, the person will know that he/she gets to alight at his/her desired destination. Isn’t this the norm?
It could be that the conductor would like other passengers to have a chance to ride the train as well. But, the problem was the conductor did not even make any effort to usher the visitors to the empty seats on the train. There were ample seats for all passengers waiting to go on the ride. Why did they not try to manage the passengers and fill the empty seats in the first place instead of asking everyone sitting inside to leave?
We pleaded with the conductor to let us stay and finish the ride, explaining how we waited for more than one hour for this train ride which only lasted for 2-3 minutes. All we wanted was just for our kids to be happy and excited about the train ride. Sad to say, there was no empathy shown by any of the conductors. The only seemingly weird reason I could barely accept was that we needed to re-scan our entrance barcodes before each ride, but the conductors should have known better that there isn’t any barcode scanners at the train stations. So, where did this issue of barcodes come from?
We left the station and headed to a nearby playground where the third station is located. We noticed that the passengers were not asked to leave the train when it arrived at this station. Isn’t this double standard?
We left the playground right after the incident. It wasn’t an enjoyable experience we hoped it to be.
Aside from my frustration and disappointment, it seemed that we weren’t the only unhappy family. I like to also make some observations that I experienced during the short GOPO Train Ride in the hope the management can look into these matters so that our next experience will not be the same.
- The conductors did not check to make sure that all doors were properly closed before the ride began. It was noticed that one of the passenger’s doors swung open when the train was on the move.
- Safety of the children boarding the train was not properly considered. There were three girls – aged 6 to 10 – boarding the train without their parents/guardians. It was apparent that the parents/guardians expected them to ride back to the original station where they would be fetched, as it was typical to expect the train to make a round trip. Like us they were asked to leave the train at the next station. They did not know how to respond and just got off as told.
- Another mother with two young kids also waited for at least half an hour. The family was told that the train would start moving in 20 minutes but 30 minutes had passed and it was still there. The mother got very frustrated and complained to the conductor, who wasn’t apologetic or showed any signs of empathy. I hope the staff of JP take into account visitors’ welfare and care to make a positive experience for them.
- There was no information at the GOPO train station. The visitors will be aware if there is a board that adequately explains:
(a) the stations (how many stations, locations, etc) where the train would be stopping; a map is a great tool for this purpose.
(b) the timings (how long it takes from one station to the next, the time the train is expected to arrive at each station, etc).
(c) clear policy of the train (eg if one is expected to alight at the next station etc).
– Frustrated & Disappointed Family