Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Free Train Travel Before 7.45am

Like many residents who take the public train (MRT) to work in Singapore's central business district, i am ecstatic to read the radical news on paper today that come 24 June 2013, commuters will travel for free so long they exit the respective gantries before 7.45am! 

Sounds great right (even though it is only a one year trial)? 
There's only one main problem. 

Even at 6.50am, the usual sight at Yishun's narrow train platform to city would be of one filled with office workers, school children etc who could not manage to squeeze in in their first attempt. Unless the operator can significantly reduce the train frequencies that currently stand at an average of four minutes; the one year trial would only worsen the current situation and result in more unhappiness.

Furthermore, sardine packed trains during peak hours are merely one of many issues facing the public transportation nowadays. 

For one, the train (majority of them was built between 1986 and 1989) i took early this morning was leaking badly due to the heavy thunderstorm. Even if i was keen to make space to allow more commuters to enter, i would not want to be drenched!

Nonetheless, the temporary gesture (thanks to MP Dr Janil Puthucheary) to offer free travel before peak hours is at least better than having no action at all. We can only hope there would be more concrete plans in the future to deal with the train breakdowns, leaky trains and complaints on air-conditioning.

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