The new initiative of having foldable seats on new MRT trains allows approximately 100 more passengers in each train during peak hours, a huge relief for those trying to squeeze into the trains ('Tip-up' seats on new MRT trains to allow for more passenger standing room; ST Online, Feb 28).
On the other hand, this will result in those who need priority seats, such as the elderly, pregnant ladies and young children, not being able to sit during peak hours, as the seats will be folded up by default.
From my observation, many commuters generally choose not to move away from the entrance on public transport. Thus, people may not move in even if there is space made available from the folded seats.
Furthermore, it is time-consuming for the train operator to tip the seats up and down in each carriage when there is a change in the crowd size.
While the intention of this initiative is good, the drawbacks seem to outweigh the benefits of this new idea.
Perhaps having new trains with more carriages would be more beneficial than having foldable seats to allow more passengers to board the train.
Teo Yong Quan Lester, 13
Secondary 2 student