Since Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan stated on 18 April that he had told Land Transport Authority (LTA) to handle the overcrowding issue on public transport, he said that LTA would “refine the headways for implementation” on Monday (20 April).
While yesterday was the appointed date of the supposed refinement, many people complained about the same issue. Overcrowding was still happening on trains and people were unable to practise safe distancing.
LTA then updated the public at 12am today, announcing that further adjustments had been made to the train frequencies.
In its Facebook post, it claimed that crowds were “reduced” during yesterday’s peak commuting hours. However, considering the number of complaints made on SMRT’s Facebook page yesterday, there seemed to be an inconsistency between LTA’s observation and the reality reported by the public.
LTA continued that they will resume monitoring the situation and fine-tune the frequency of trains “as necessary”.
“We’ll continue to monitor the situation and fine-tune the frequency of trains as necessary to ensure all commuters can continue to practise safe distancing.”
They had also predicted that crowds would return after the Circuit Breaker period, therefore, LTA urged the public to continue wearing face masks on public transport.
“Post-circuit breaker period, when safe distancing is not easily achievable as crowds return, a practical compromise is for all commuters to continue wearing masks on public transport. #MaskOutWhenOut and #StayAtHome as much as possible to make our circuit breaker measures work!” wrote LTA.
Persisting crowds on trains
Under this Facebook post, several people had made complaints about the crowding on trains this morning (21 April).
They described that it was still overly crowded at Jurong East station and safe distancing was seemingly impossible to be practised.
Ben Teng commented that Jurong East station was crowded yesterday and last Friday (17 April). And that the train stopped and waited for more passengers to board.
Until this morning, Jameson Ong said that the train at Jurong East station was still packed with people. And Ari Tumijo commented that the train interval at the same station was still too long, and there would be much lesser chance to practise safe distancing.
Abdul Jabbar was in the North South Line this morning and the situation had not been improved. He noticed that people were still standing too close to each other as there were not enough available seats.
Jonathan Lu had a similar experience as well on the circle line at Serangoon station heading towards Dhoby Ghaut. He described that there were still a lot of people in the carriage than the allocated safe distancing spots. Mr Lu urged LTA to increase train frequency during the morning peak.