ST Nov 27, 2006
Jam-packed trains here? It's worse in other major cities
I refer to the article 'Complaints about overcrowded trains', (Sunday Times, Nov 19).
When it comes to public transportation, Singaporeans have it good here. The trains in Singapore are far less packed during peak hours when compared to other cities around the world.
In my travels in London, Paris and Rome last year, some trains were so congested that security personnel were placed at every gate to ensure that passengers did not get trampled on or pushed onto the open tracks.
There were many signs that warn people of pickpockets.
The commuters overseas do not have the luxury of personal space as we Singaporeans have.
Yet, some of us show our selfishness in ways that I cannot comprehend.
Why block the exit of alighting passengers? Why stand on the right side of the escalator and block another person's way? If a busy city like London can do it, why not us? Overcrowded trains here? I doubt it. But a little consideration would be nice.
Siti Aisha Mostafa (Ms)
Singapore's train system is neither the best nor the worst in the world. However I got to say that there are lots of improvements needed.
Ms Siti obviously did not travel well enough. I can only say she happened to be in places where the train system just happened to be worst then Singapore’s.
I personally had been to London, Paris and Rome and I find that they are not too bad after all.
Yes they are dirtier but at least their trains run on time and I didn’t see the congestion as suggested by Ms Siti.
Well it all depends on what time and which station you are in too. But again I hope Ms Siti don’t forget that the London Tube started operation in 1863, Paris Metro in the 1900s and Rome Metro in 1955 and our dear SMRT begin operation in Nov 1987, a good 32years behind Rome.
So what’s wrong with signs warning people of pickpockets? There are similar signs in Singapore's shopping centres too. And our trains these days do have signs and public announcements warning people of suspicious character with unidentified bags which threatens to bomb our SMRT.
How about the efficiency of Hong Kong's MTR? Tokyo's and Osaka's train systems? Seoul's underground? Bangkok's Skytrain? Christchurch's Tram? Manchester’s Tram system? Etc etc…… There are so many public transport systems that are better run then our small Mass Transit system. I do hope Ms Siti increase her sampling size before commenting.
I suggest Ms Siti to visit Raffles Place or City Hall during the morning and evening rush hours and she will be in no doubt that overcrowded trains DO EXIST in dear Singapore.
Finally what I am trying to say is we must first accept the problem before we could even solve it.
If the authority keep denying that there is a problem with overcrowded train, saying Singaporeans are just spolit, then this problem will never go away.
PS : How many people in the cabinet commute by public transport daily? I will be surprised if there is any.