November 26, 2006

Crowded trains

Last week a report in the papers said Singaporeans complained about our trains too crowded. People interviewed said the situation was much worse in New York and Tokyo.

I have not been to New York; I have been to Tokyo but did not take the trains. But I can say that in Hong Kong the trains (they call them MTR) are always crowded most of the day and during peak hours it is terrible.

You would be amazed by the massive waves of humanity at the train stations during peak hours. When you arrive at the platform, there would already be hordes of people in front of you. You wonder where they come from. You won't be able to board the first train that arrives. Most likely you could only board the third train.Forget about getting a seat, you would be standing all the way and sometimes with people squeezing you from behind, left and right.

So, comparatively our trains are not that crowded. And relative to the fares we pay, I think the service is also not bad.

1 comment:

Victor said...

Yes, I agree with you. Although I drive most of the time, when I have to attend a course in the CBD where ERP and parking charges are exhorbitant, I'd rather park-and-ride. Our trains, though crowded during peak hours, are actually not that packed. Let me illustrate with a personal account:

Several years ago, I was riding a train to work during the morning peak hours. The train seemed to be packed to capacity and it looked like there wasn't even standing room left. However, I still managed to squeeze in. One seated passenger didn't feel well and was coughing. Quite unexpectedly, she suddenly threw up! Within a split second, a 5-foot circle of space was created in front of her - all the commuters had tried to siam her vomit.

So you see, our trains are never really as crowded as they seem.