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Meet our Mobility Artists: Margaret Teo

During the UITP Summit in Stockholm you will be inspired by speakers from all over the world, coming from every industry within the public transport sector. Celebrating the Summit’s theme “the Art of Public Transport“, we believe that each speaker is a mobility artist in her or his own way, working to craft the perfect urban journey.

Our sixth mobility artist is a Happiness Conductor! With a ‘fine-tuned’ business mindset, Margaret Teo’s main concern is to deliver a positive experience to public transport users at every step of their journey. Starting with an internal culture of listening to and engaging with staff, Margaret makes sure she understands each person’s needs perfectly, in order to create a culture of service excellence.

“Customer service excellence in public transport has the unique capacity to improve the lives and well-being of many people, every single day.”

Margaret is the Chief Communications Officer of SMRT, a multi-modal public transport operator in Singapore. With many years of experience in the service industry, Margaret enjoys putting smiles on people’s faces. When engaging with different key stakeholders as part of her day-to-day activities, she works as an advocate for her company, but also for the customers.

Margaret will be speaking at the session “Happy Leaders, Happy Staff, Happy Customers” during the UITP Summit. Explore our interactive programme to find out more.


Can you describe what your presentation at the UITP Summit will be about?

I will be sharing SMRT’s experience on the topic ‘Happy leaders, happy staff, happy customers’. The best way to ensure that customers are happy is not only to work on customer experience, but also to properly motivate and promote happy leaders and happy staff. This implies reinventing the way public transport services providers are managed and organised, which is what I will discuss during this session.

Why is Customer Service Excellence so important for public transport?

Public transport touches lives every day and in many different ways. Public transport connects people to people and people to places. One can say it is the ‘lifeblood’ of a city. The quality of service can affect the mood and even the well-being of customers, indirectly impacting their families, colleagues and friends. At SMRT, we believe in winning the hearts and minds of not just our customers, but also our staff. When our staff members are happy, they will serve our customers well.

What does “The Art of Public Transport” mean to you?

First, it means connecting dots to form lines, and then creating various lines to form a network, which itself is a masterpiece that is unique to the city. Rain or shine, this network moves city dwellers and tourists, every day. For this piece of art to be appealing, reliability, safety and comfort are fundamental factors. It should also be inclusive – everyone must have easy access to public transport. Finally, the Art of Public Transport also means that commuters’ lives can be enriched by art, even while on the move. Art can come in different forms: a physical piece of art in a transit environment, or the ‘Art of Service’ – if you get the service right, travelling becomes a much nicer experience.


Customer service excellence is one of the seven main topics of the Summit. Want to discover the full programme? Download the full brochure!

Are you an Happiness Conductor just like Margaret? Take the quiz and find out!