If you’ve ever attempted to board the MRT during the peak hour, you’ll know how much of a nightmare it can be. I’m not exactly complaining — I’ve experienced worse traffic in other countries, after all. But it seems the Land Transport Authority (LTA) is determined to make our trains even more efficient in the coming years.
According to The Straits Times, commuters can expect to ride on trains that will house tip-up seats from 2019. This means that some seats — about 30% of available seating on trains — will be able to be folded up when not in use. It is hoped that this will free up more standing space for commuters during the rush hour, so that more can board the trains at any one time.
Mr Piers Connor, managing director of British firm PRC Rail Consulting, told The Straits Times that while tip-up seats will benefit commuters by allowing for more versatile seating arrangements, they may be more expensive to upkeep. This is because there will be more parts that need servicing, and tip-up seats will have to undergo maintenance regularly.
Apart from the new seating arrangements, the LTA is also calling for manufacturers to build trains that include the necessary infrastructure for Wi-Fi when bidding. This means that commuters will be able to enjoy Wi-Fi and Internet connection even when trains are passing through tunnels and sections with poor signals.
Wi-Fi is presently available for free only at a number of train stations and platforms, but not on the trains themselves. With the new infrastructure, commuters will be able to surf the Internet without disruption, so even if you’re caught in rush hour traffic, you’ll never be unreachable.
Guess this means we’ll not be hearing any more excuses like “Sorry I’m late, I got caught in traffic,” or “I couldn’t hear you, the train was passing through the tunnel.”