Let's fix train behaviour, too

I was heartened to hear that ensuring train reliability is the near-term priority of the new transport minister, Mr Khaw Boon Wan ("Khaw stresses need to ramp up investment in rail maintenance"; Oct 10).

In the meantime, there are huge gains to be had in improving the commuter experience by working on some obvious social aspects of commuting.

Notwithstanding train reliability, the commuting experience is sometimes affected by irksome behaviours or the cabin environment.

The following is not an exhaustive list:

- Obstruction of cabin entrances and exits

- Swinging of backpacks, shopping bags or handbags at others

- Stretching out of legs into the aisles

- Queue cutting

- Loud talking

- Nose digging and flicking of whatever is dug out onto others

- Loud and incessant coughing

- Train broadcasts in a volume that is louder than necessary

If we can cut down the above irritants, it would make our journeys more bearable. We would also be helping our community to become more civil and gracious.

General public education campaigns did not show significant results in the past.

More direct measures, with the power of social sanction, should be considered.

Lim Teck Koon