During a trip to Japan, I noticed that the train station gates there are open by default, and close only if someone attempts to go through without a valid ticket.
There are many advantages to this Japanese system, compared with our MRT station gates that are closed by default:
- Energy saving: Our MRT gates have to open and close for every passenger, while in Japan, the gates remain open all the time, and stay mostly stationary.
This will save a huge amount of power over a period of time.
- Time saving: Most passengers here will wait for the gates to close before they tap their ez-link cards, and then wait for the gates to open again before walking through.
In Japan, commuters simply tap and walk through the gates without any delay. Thus, there is seldom a jam at the gates despite the much bigger crowd there.
- Safety: While it is possible to tap and walk through an MRT gate without first waiting for it to close, there is a good chance the gate will close as one is passing through. This has happened to many people and is a painful experience.
In Japan, the train station gates will close only when one does not have a valid ticket, and they close before one's body reaches them, so there is little chance of getting hit.
I hope the Land Transport Authority will consider implementing Japan's "open gate" system here.
Wong Boon Hong