SafeEntry may not be feasible for the Train Network

The government recently rolled out a series of SafeEntry (1) QR Codes across all stations. Although this is not compulsory, the Land Transport Authority encourages commuters to check in upon entering the station.

In our opinion, we find that the SafeEntry system is not feasible for commuters travelling on the train network, since steps for checking in and out of SafeEntry at stations are not clear:

  • Should we check-in as we enter the station, and check-out using the other SafeEntry code at the destination? Would this affect contact tracing efforts since the system only has a check-in at our entry station?
  • Should we check-out at our entry station as soon as we board the train, and check-in (and then out) at the destination station?
  • How does SafeEntry help to facilitate contact tracing on board trains, as there are no SafeEntry QR Codes on board trains?

A better solution for contact tracing on the train network is the use of the TraceTogether (2) application. The downside of this method is that it requires commuters to have the application already downloaded on their mobile device.

As of 30 May 2020, the TraceTogether iOS application does not utilise the new ExposureNotification framework in the latest version of iOS and iPadOS 13.5. This means that iOS/iPadOS users are required to leave the application running in the foreground in order for TraceTogether to regularly scan for other Bluetooth devices.

1. SafeEntry is a national digital check-in system that logs the NRIC/FINs and mobile numbers of individuals visiting hotspots, workplaces of essential services, as well as selected public venues to facilitate contact tracing efforts.
2. TraceTogether adopts a community-driven approach where participating devices exchange proximity information whenever an app detects another device with the TraceTogether app installed by utilising the Bluetooth Relative Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) readings between devices across time to approximate the proximity and duration of an encounter between two users.

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Matthew Ng

An avid train enthusiast since 2009, he designs graphics and infographics to promote the little known facts about Singapore's train network.