Fun Fact Friday: STARiS

Did you know that the active route maps on the trains plying the North-South and East-West Lines were made in Singapore?

The SMRT Active Route Map Information System (STARiS) is a rail and travel information system developed in-house by communications engineers from SMRT Corporation for its North-South and East-West Line trains. This system was officially announced on 7 November 2008 and was installed in one train on a two month trial.

The first version of STARiS comprises an active route map and a Vacuum Fluorescent Display (VFD), providing commuters a clear real-time information of the location of the train and its destination.

The active route map provides commuters with their route information throughout their journey, and also indicates which side the doors will open.


The VFD screens provide information on the current and next station, the terminating station and transfer information and textual representations of audio announcements played in trains.

The second version of STARiS replaces the dynamic route map with an LCD screen. The screens display route information, as well as the station layout and landmarks around the station.

STARiS Version 2 has been a controversial topic when it was first launched on the C151B trains. Initial versions of STARiS2 featured a geographical map of the North-South/East-West Line, and highlighting the destination station on the screen. It could only display the next four stations and the previous station on the left screen, making the new system a degrade from the STARiS Active Route Map.

Since then, several updates have been pushed to the information systems and it displays more useful information. However, we believe it could still be further improved despite the technological limitations of the hardware and software itself.


Matthew Ng

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