Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Well done, LTA.

Well done, LTA. Congratulations to you for managing to add yet another debacle to your long series of cock-ups like this, this and this. You have performed well beyond my expectation.

First-day jitters plague LTA's one-stop e-service

Online system jams, crowds throng LTA offices nationwide

Cheow Xin Yi
xinyic@newstoday.com.sg

AS THE Land Transport Authority (LTA) tried its hand at providing a one-stop online service platform for vehicle owners, it ended up causing inconvenience and attracting complaints on its first day of launch instead.

After unsuccessful attempts online, disgruntled vehicle owners packed LTA's main office in Sin Ming Drive yesterday, trying to beat the end-February expiry deadline for renewing their road tax.

The bottleneck was also exacerbated by the four-day closure of LTA's offices and online services from Feb 24 to 27 — ironically to prepare for the launch of the new online system, called e-Services@ONE.MOTORING.

The new e-services portal replaces LTA's 23-year-old vehicle registration and licensing computer system, but didn't win itself any new fans. It's understood that the e-system was up and running from 6am but started to experience slow response time at around 10am.

"I heard that the online system was all jammed up and users kept getting bounced out of the system when they tried to access," said Mr Simon Tay, a businessman who was in the queue at LTA's office.

However, it was another long wait at the centre for most users, as queues dragged on for up to six hours.

"I travelled three road tax collection centres in one day just to pay my road tax. I even had to quarrel with the staff at the counters," said another vehicle owner, who declined to be named.

"The waiting time is ridiculous," said Mr Tay, whose number tag showed that he had to wait for 378 minutes or more than six hours.

Some were also irked that LTA's office didn't extend its working hours beyond 4.30 pm, the lack of clear instructions and the short notice on the four-day closure of its services.

"LTA could have done a better job in handling this situation. There was a lack of clear instructions and coordination in the whole incident, including giving us prior notice to the closing of services," said 29-year-old analyst Jon Ho.

When contacted, a LTA spokesperson said that the online system, accessible via www.onemotoring.com.sg, was "operating as normal" by 12.30pm yesterday.

"However, due to the backlog from the morning caused by the system's slowness, there were still long queues at our counters in the afternoon. We apologise for any inconvenience caused," said LTA in an email reply.

The authority said it would also waive any penalty fees incurred by vehicle owners who were unable to renew their road tax before the deadline yesterday.

It added: "We would like to assure the public that the system is now operating normally … We will continue to monitor and set up additional temporary counters over the next few days.

"For road tax renewals, we have over 50 road tax collection centres that vehicle owners can go to renew their road tax. They can also renew their road tax at AXS machines."
The authority said it would also waive any penalty fees incurred by vehicle owners who were unable to renew their road tax before the deadline yesterday.

It added: "We would like to assure the public that the system is now operating normally … We will continue to monitor and set up additional temporary counters over the next few days.

"For road tax renewals, we have over 50 road tax collection centres that vehicle owners can go to renew their road tax. They can also renew their road tax at AXS machines."

1 Comments:

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