SINGAPORE: One commuter was none too happy with the recently installed “perch seats” on the MRT because, for him, they are a “useless installation” that has taken the place of good seats. A netizen who goes by Kei El Douberyu on Facebook asked how many people can occupy the plastic shelf on the wall of the train wagon. He answered his own question by writing, “Only two. Why bother? Why not 2 chairs instead?”

In a Dec 12 (Tuesday) COMPLAINT SINGAPORE Facebook post, he wrote, “We have an ageing population, need more chairs for our oldies to sit, not stand.” He also took aim at policymakers, claiming that “It goes to show how out of touch these people who made decisions. They drive cars, don’t take MRT, so never understand the need of the commuters.” His post has since been shared and commented on many times.

The Land Transport Authority had announced in a media statement earlier this year that the first set of New North-South and East-West Lines trains would be rolled out beginning June 4. The statement said that perch seats would be included in the trains to allow more passengers.

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“Commuters from all walks of life can look forward to more pleasant and convenient journeys, as the new train cabins have more open spaces to accommodate strollers and wheelchair users. Large, panoramic windows will provide commuters with an improved viewing experience while travelling along above-ground stations. The new trains are also designed with ergonomic perch seats, which can accommodate more commuters on the trains. Other features include an LCD display system above every door to show the route and station information,” said the LTA.

Some netizens tried to explain this to the post author, with one woman writing, “2 chairs only 2 ppl can seat, more areas to stand means can take more ppl in the train mah.”

However, Mr Kei El Douberyu is not the only person not in favour of the perch seats, as other commenters expressed concerns about being “squeezed like sardines” inside the train wagons.

Another netizen did the math for the post author and wrote, “2 chairs can sit only 2, but this ‘useless installation’ can let probably i guess 4 more people onto the train car. 2 such “useless installation” per car means about 8 more passengers and multiply that by 6 cars, thats additional 48 passengers per train.”

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The Independent Singapore has contacted Mr Kei El Douberyu for further comments or updates. Commuter calls perch seats on MRT as ‘useless installation’

Read also: Netizens offer suggestions for the new trains for the LTA’s North-South and East-West Lines /TISG