Land Transport Authority (LTA) has launched the new system that it claims to be able to help channel commuters to less crowded train cars starting on Monday (14 May).
The new system, the Passenger Load Information System (PLIS), is being piloted along the Downtown Line.
It displays the load levels in each train car through LCD screens at the MRT platforms using three colour-coded icons, which are red, amber and green.
A train car with green colour-coded means it is empty. A train car with red colour-coded means the standing capacity is limited. Meanwhile, a train car with amber colour-coded is somewhere in between and commuters can expect these train cars to have standing space but possibly no available seats.
The new system is similar to a system used on the Yamanote Line in Tokyo, which detects the passenger load through load sensors that are already on trains.
LTA stated that the data is then transmitted wirelessly at one-second intervals to the next train station. When incoming trains reach the next station, the information is also updated as passengers alight and board.
Chia Choon Poh, LTA's Director for Rolling Stock and Depot Engineering, stated that commuters can use the information to move to less crowded train cars for easier boarding, adding, "This will better allow them to decide which platform door to board the trains or they may choose to wait for the next train if the oncoming train is crowded. And also, we think this system will be able to help us optimise the train capacity."
According to the authority, the system will be rolled out on six stations on the Downtown Line, between Bugis and Chinatown, by the end of Monday before it is extended to all 34 stations on the rail line by next week.
LTA stated that it will monitor the system over a six month period to fine-tune it, as well as get commuter feedback, as well as monitoring the system over a six month period to fine-tune it, as well as get commuter feedback.