Tokyo has the most dense railway system in the world. Just look at the map above, left one is JR Tokyo, right one is Tokyo Metro (which is mostly UNDERGROUND)! Except this, other private railway companies in Tokyo includes Keio, Tobu, Tokyu, Seibu, Keisei, Odakyu. So if you are in big major stations like Shinjuku, or Tokyo... @_@
Although with such complicated link, Japan trains are still dead on punctual. If it's 1 min late, people starts to look at their watch trying to reaffirm the arrival time. If it's 2 mins late, people will start to look a little bit daze and a bit lost. 3 mins late, apology announcement will keep on blasting over the speakers.
But the most amazing thing isnt just this. In 2001, they introduced contactless smart card Suica and in 2007, PASMO which is based on RFID technology. Since Suica and Pasmo are interchangeable between each other, practically, you can use only one card on ALL the railway stations (regardless of different companies), bus systems, most of the convenient stores, vending machines, keyless locker systems, even tramways.
Point is: IMAGINE the PROGRAMMING CODE!
I knew this through Japanese listening and speaking lesson that I am attending. The video of this news was shown.
In year 2007, after half a year PASMO was introduced. Gate glitch gives commuters free ride. In this incident, at 2.30am, suddenly all the gate of 662 stations closed automatically with alarm triggered. At around 4am, after confirming there's nothing wrong with gate's hardware system, they concluded that software is the problem.
Now the big questions. How are you gonna debug a programming software with 830k lines!!! They knew it was the software problem, but which part of the software? Although I am not a programming person, I could also imagined that, they were in TROUBLES.
Nope. The Japanese done it like a breeze! It is reported that at 920am, operations starting to be back to normal. How the hell did they do that?!
I wonder what will happen if there's a glitch like this happening in Malaysia, "Apa? glitch? tak tau lah! makan kuih first!"