Managing morning madness

morning madness
JOSTLING FOR SPACE: Woodlands MRT station is especially crowded during term time.

Republic Polytechnic students tell us how they deal with the morning rush hour at Woodlands MRT station on their way to school. 

Students, working adults and children all wait anxiously for their train to arrive. Some are afraid of being late for school or work, while others worry about squeezing into the train. The train arrives and it looks like it’s already teeming with commuters on board. As soon as the doors open, alighting commuters rush out while others rush in.

This is a typical scene at any MRT during the morning rush hour as the new term begins at most polytechnics everywhere causing rush hour to get more intense than ever. RP Students often have to deal with the massive congestion during the morning rush hour as they board the North South line to Woodlands in order to reach campus.

RP is the only polytechnic in the North zone of Singapore, with an average school population of 14,500 students and while not all take the train, a big number do.

Siti Muliana, 20, Year 2 student, expressed her frustrations during the rush hour. She said: “Morning rush hour can be irritating because if there are too many people waiting near the entrance, and the train is already packed, I will have to wait for another one.”

Commuters waiting for trains often miss up to two trains in order to even board the train during the morning peak hours.

In addition to dealing with the morning rush hours, commuters also have to deal with inconsiderate commuters who do not give way to alighting passengers and even resort to shoving others in order to get into the train. Praveena Ravin, 17, Year 2 student recounted on how she had to deal with inconsiderate commuters: “Sometimes I let them cut in, other times I nudge them out of the way and squeeze through them to get into the train.”

Even though the North-South line has been experiencing train disruption recently, it is one of the oldest MRT lines in Singapore. The line has been operating since 1987 and has been in need of regular maintenance checks in order to meet the needs of the ever growing population of Singapore.

Most students cheered at the recent news of the new Thomson line having a new MRT station situated right behind Republic Polytechnic. But until that is ready, the simplest solution is to wake up earlier.  Kwong Chang Wei, 19, Year 2 student said: “I will try to leave early like around 7am to make sure I have enough leeway to not be late for school.”