SINGAPORE: A new system that can help channel commuters to less crowded train cars is being piloted along the Downtown Line by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) starting on Monday (May 14).
The Passenger Load Information System (PLIS) displays the load levels in each train car through LCD screens at the MRT platforms using three colour-coded icons - red, amber and green.
An emptier train car is colour-coded green while a train car with limited standing capacity is colour-coded red. Amber is somewhere in between, and commuters can expect these train cars to have standing space but possibly no available seats.
The PLIS, which is similar to a system used on the Yamanote Line in Tokyo, detects the passenger load through load sensors that are already on trains. The data is then transmitted wirelessly at one-second intervals to the next train station, according to LTA. When incoming trains reach the next station, the information is also updated as passengers alight and board.
LTA's Director for Rolling Stock and Depot Engineering Chia Choon Poh said commuters can use the information to move to less crowded train cars for easier boarding.
“This will better allow them to decide which platform door to board the trains or they may choose to wait for the next train if the oncoming train is crowded. And also, we think this system will be able to help us optimise the train capacity,” he added.
The system will be rolled out on six stations on the Downtown Line, between Bugis and Chinatown, by the end of Monday before it is extended to all 34 stations on the rail line by next week.
LTA will monitor the system over a six month period to fine-tune it, as well as get commuter feedback, it said.
LTA added it would monitor the system over a six month period to fine-tune it, as well as get commuter feedback.
One commuter, corporate lawyer C J Ng, said the feature could help to alleviate crowding.
“It actually helps us to know where to find more empty spaces so people don't crowd around the place where they can't get into the train - or if those that want to find seats, or if they want to spread out to a place where they can find seats more easily."
Meanwhile, 57-year-old Imah Jamin said the system could help her better secure a seat. “We know whether the cabin is empty or not, so we know that if it's full we will go the other cabin," she said.