Commuters are more gracious: Index

Public transport commuters are behaving more graciously, according to a new survey.
Public transport commuters are behaving more graciously, according to a new survey.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

LTA study shows graciousness level at 61.3% last year, up from 42% the year before

Public transport commuters are behaving more graciously - by offering their seats to those who need them more or queueing up to board their rides, for example.

The Land Transport Authority's (LTA's) latest Commuter Graciousness Index, released yesterday, shows the graciousness level rose to 61.3 per cent in 2014, up from 42 per cent the year before. In 2012, the index stood at 38.6 per cent.

The study tracks the perceived change in behaviour of commuters on public transport.

It looks at three core behaviours: queueing up and giving way to other commuters, giving up seats to those who need them more, as well as moving in to allow more passengers to board the bus or train.

Of the 1,000 respondents in the survey, 71 per cent said they noticed other commuters queueing up and giving way. This is up from 49 per cent in 2013.

Also, 63 per cent said more commuters were giving up their seats last year, an improvement from 45 per cent in 2013.

Half of the respondents noted that more commuters were also moving in to allow other passengers to board, an increase from 41 per cent in 2013.

The survey was done last December, via face-to-face interviews.

Commuter Visakan Veerasamy, a 25-year-old marketing executive, said: "About two years ago, I first noticed people queueing up to board the train at Bishan MRT Station. They didn't do that three or four years ago."

But he still occasionally encounters inconsiderate commuters, such as those who play games on their mobile phones with the volume turned up.

The LTA's latest study included two new measurements, one of which is whether more commuters are keeping their volume down. Some 39 per cent of respondents said they noticed this.

The other behaviour is commuters putting their bags down, and 44 per cent said they noticed more people doing so.

The Singapore Kindness Movement's associate general secretary Cesar Balota said LTA's findings were in line with the movement's own national study, which also showed people becoming more gracious.

However, there is still more to be done. "When trains and buses get crowded, it's sometimes hard to see who needs a seat, such as a pregnant woman. People could perhaps be more pro-active in looking out for others," Mr Balota added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 16, 2015, with the headline 'Commuters are more gracious: Index'. Print Edition | Subscribe