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Forum: The elderly, the SMRT system, the message

Letter to editor

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Dear Editor,

Recently I notice that during off-peak hours, the intervals between trains are longer. This is perhaps in line with what the transport minister said not too long ago about decreasing train frequency ie the time in between trains will increase, in a bid to cut costs.

At the same time, commuters are being told to give up their seats to people who are more in need than they are.

What I observe between now and 15 years ago is that
1. The trains and buses are much more packed especially during off-peak hours
2. There is a greater number of elderly folks standing in the trains

I believe the government’s policy is to to advocate a car-lite country.

Simultaneously as highlighted above, the government believes it is in the best interest of the bottom line to reduce the number of trains running. Also, the population will continue to increase, per the government’s white paper, thus increasing the load on the public transport infrastructure.

Yet, the public is encouraged to be more big hearted in giving up their seats.

I sense an incongruence in the signals sent to the public by the government.

It would be good for the transport ministry to clarify its take on this matter.

I do not think one can have its cake and eat it. It is a pretty much impossible objective.

Lim Boon Tiong, Terence

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