When waiting for the train, passengers tend to crowd around the doors near the escalator and not move toward the ends of the platform. This causes an uneven distribution of passengers across the carriages of the train when they board, resulting in carriages at both ends of the MRT being relatively empty compared to the carriages nearer to the escalators.
To demonstrate our point, our team went down to Clementi MRT station on a weekday evening, right before peak hour and recorded our observations. We positioned each team member at three consecutive carriages. Carriage number four was nearest to the escalators and the elevator while carriage 2 was the furthest.
Each member would count the total number of passengers waiting to board a specific carriage. For more pictures please refer to the appendices.
(Furthest from escalator)
(Nearest to escalator)
Based on our observations we can tell that there is a direct correlation between the number of passengers boarding a carriage and that carriage’s proximity to the escalators/elevators. This is because passengers tend to cluster at the carriages near the escalator. Making some carriages more packed than others which will result in an uncomfortable commute for some of the commuters.
SMRT has also been placing staff during the peak hours to usher commuters to emptier parts of the platform. This solution is labour intensive and passengers may not be aware that heading to an emptier part of the platform can result in a more comfortable and less crowded commute.
By implementing our solution, SMRT will stand to gain directly from it. Them being the owner of the MRT, will be able to create a more comfortable experience for their commuters. Also, with our solution, commuters will get to have a more comfortable commute experience, as they will now be made aware of how crowded the carriage is. With the information they have, they will be able to spread themselves evenly throughout the carriages, leading to a more comfortable commute for themselves and others.
Overall, it will help to evenly distribute the number of commuters in each carriage, which also increases the overall efficiency of the train. Also, by evenly distributing the commuters, it will ensure a more comfortable commute for the commuters.
In order for Singapore’s MRT system to maximise passenger capacity while maintaining a lower passenger density. Commuters should enter carriages with the most available space, resulting in an even spread of passengers across the various carriages.
In Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, commuters tend to cluster around the carriages near the escalators, causing an uneven distribution of passengers across the train.
By tracking the weight of each individual MRT carriage, approximate passenger density can be calculated. An indicator that flashes red, amber or green depending on the passenger density should be installed above the platform doors to provide this information to commuters so that they can make a more informed decision on which part of the platform to wait.
The purpose of this proposal is to recommend SMRT to adopt our solution of tracking passenger density on trains and passing this information to commuters to encourage them to spread across the platform. This is in everyone’s interest as the benefits include reduced manpower needs for SMRT and a better ride experience for commuters.
The proposed solution is to gather information about the carriage’s weight to estimate approximate passenger density. Passengers will then be able to tell if a carriage is full or not before the train arrives at the platform by means of a simple coloured lights indication system installed along the platform.
The weight of a carriage can be determined with existing weight sensors in carriage suspension systems. Professor Zhou from the Singapore Institute of Technology remarked that the existing sensors may not currently be accessible. This is due to the manufacturers of the train restricting the access of such data from the sensor as there has not been a need for it. The weight of individual carriages is logged once the door of the carriages has closed. This information will be used to calculate approximate passenger density. The approximate passenger density will then be passed to the next station either by making use of existing signalling/communication systems or by computing it before the train leaves the station and relaying it over the internet to the next station.
As for the implementation of indicators above the platform, our proposal is to install a LED indicator that changes colour from red to amber to green depending on the density of the incoming MRT. Red indicates that the density of the carriage is high. This means that it is crowded and you might have to wait for the next train or look for another carriage that is less crowded. Oranges indicate that the carriage is mildly crowded while green indicates that it is relatively empty.