I refer to the responses in The New Paper from SMRT ("Move to less crowded carriages", Oct 7) and reader Mervyn Look (Trains should be run manually at peak periods", Oct 14) to my letter about commuters not getting enough time to alight or board when there is overcrowding ("Why not keep train doors open longer?" Oct 3).
I agree that travelling time will increase if trains stay longer at stations. But what use is shorter travelling time if you can't alight where you want to?
And if more people can board, wouldn't they still reach their destination faster than if they were to wait for the next train?
SMRT said that it does set a slightly longer dwell time for interchange stations. But from my experience, this is not enough especially when there are delays.
And it doesn't seem to make a difference whether the train is driverless or manually operated.
I was at Expo station at 8.20am on Oct 14 and there were a lot of people alighting from a train towards Changi Airport. The trains on this line are run manually. But there was still not enough time for everyone to board comfortably.
I saw a group of three guys, each towing luggage.
They waited for the passengers to alight and then had to rush in like mad as the train door closed.
One of them had his luggage on the platform and himself inside the train, with the luggage handle stuck in the train door. It was only when the train door opened again that he managed to get his luggage in.
One way or another, train operators need to ensure that this does not become a regular sight at our MRT stations.
Lee Ing Chen
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