SINGAPORE: A Singaporean intern confessed to having taken a seat in the priority seat section on the MRT.

In her post, she explained that she felt tired and nauseous that morning, making standing up during her commute nearly impossible.

“No one asked me to give up my seat; if they had, I would’ve gladly done so. I always give my seat to people in need, no matter how tired I am,” she explained.

Feeling remorseful for potentially violating public transport etiquette, she shared her experience online and sought opinions on whether her actions were inappropriate.

“You can give it up if someone asks for it”

Given her poor physical condition, most Singaporeans on Reddit found her behaviour understandable.

However, they stated that it would be unacceptable if she refused to give up her seat to another elderly or disabled person entering the MRT, regardless of her illness.

One Redditor said, “You paid for your own fare, right? Same as those passengers, right? Then it is first come, first served basis. You can give it up if someone asks for it, but until then, enjoy being seated next to the door. You earned it.”

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Another commented, “I sit on reserved seats all the time. I just give it up if I see someone who needs it more than me.”

Adding to the discussion, others shared their own experiences of encountering individuals who remained seated in the priority section despite seeing that there were elderly, pregnant, or disabled passengers who needed them more.

One Redditor shared an incident where a pregnant woman boarded a train during rush hour, but working adults occupied all reserved seats.

No one immediately offered her their seat, and seeing this, another commuter took it upon themselves to advocate for the pregnant lady, asking those seated in the reserved section to give up their seats.

However, no one moved for a few minutes, and they continued to ignore the pregnant lady, engrossed in their phones while comfortably seated.

Looking back at what happened, the Redditor pointed out how crucial it is to be ready to offer your seat to someone who needs it, no matter how old they are or their status.

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She also stressed that empathy and being aware of others’ needs are crucial in places like public transport, where people can easily get wrapped up in their own lives and forget about those around them.

Kindness goes a long way—offer your seat to those who need it

It’s perfectly natural to feel hesitant to give up your seat to others, especially if you’ve just had a long, exhausting day at work and just need a good rest.

However, it’s important to remember that there are people out there who may need those seats more than you do.

People like the elderly, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and people with infants or young kids often face more difficulties and find standing for long periods on the MRT much harder. 

Kindness is free. If you’re unsure whether someone needs a seat, don’t be afraid to approach them and ask them this simple question: “Would you like to have a seat?”

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Read also: Priority seating: Are elderly passengers automatically entitled to public transportation seats?

Featured image by Depositphotos