30 new MRT trains: testing commuters’ patience?

Commuters, fed up of being squeezed every day in trains, must have leapt with delight when they read that 30 new trains will be on the way. But their joy would have been short-lived when they realized that the new trains would arrive only in the next four years with the earliest  17 due in 2012. 

Having travelled in mass transport systems in the region, I must acknowledge that our  MRT infrastructure is one of the best. 

However, it seems unable to cope with the ever-increasing passenger loads. Given that the government opened the floodgates to thousands of foreign talent and immigrants over the years, one can’t help but feel that the authorities have failed to monitor our transport needs. 

The result as we can see daily is a human gridlock at MRT stations and on trains.

I have travelled on the Metro in Shanghai ,which has a population of more than 23 million,  and I did not feel that suffocatingly squeezed. The same goes for Hong Kong with a population of 7 million.

The government often brags that they give a calibrated response to this and that problem, giving the impression of great precision, so where was the calibration for the transport system? Clearly, there was a lack of co-ordination and oversight. 

Just like opening the floodgates to foreigners, and failing to monitor the impact on our society. In other words, the authorities fell asleep at the controls on both counts.

In the meantime, while the promised trains are being built, the authorities should do more to relieve the situation.

Perhaps, private buses could be allowed to ferry commuters from stations. More premium buses can ply privates estates. Bus companies could run more express bus services. The country could be more bicycle-friendly to encourage people to cycle to work. A shorter interval between trains as well. In tandem, these measure could relieve our transport woes somewhat… while we wait for the promised land. 

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2 Responses to “30 new MRT trains: testing commuters’ patience?”

  1. Next four years? Getting ready for elections, right?

    • Of course they are. We’d better get ready, too. In the battle of the people against those who wield the weapons of State against us, we must vanquish; they need only survive.


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