To foresee which train cart to get on

Life Hacks

~The railway of the MTR interweaves a giant spider web that covers the whole Hong Kong. It is much easier than before for us to get to the other parts of this city. Nowadays, both adults and students deeply rely on that transportation upon their daily routine. Because of its big group of passengers, the trains can be crowded, especially at hectic hours.

However, based on my observation, even though sometimes some train carts are full of passengers, some still contain space.

Nevertheless, as one does not foresee which cart is full and which cart is free before the train comes, he or she has to randomly wait at a position in front of the gate. If fortunately the cart he or she is waiting for is free, then he or she can get on the cart. Unfortunately if the cart is full, he or she has to wait for the next train.

This circumstance is not efficient. On one hand it is a waste of the passengers’ time. On the other hand it also wastes energy, because not all the space of the train is fully utilized.

Now, I suggest the MTR station install a display board on the train station. The display board would show the utility rate of every cart. For example, if the image of a specific cart on the display board turns red, it signifies that it is fully occupied ; if the image turns green, it means that it is not occupied and is still available. After knowing the utility rate of the train, passengers can strategically choose to wait for a free cart, instead of randomly and bluntly waiting. It saves time and it saves energy.

For how to do that, I think we can install weight sensors beneath the bottom of the train. It can indicate whether the whole area of the carts stand on people or if there is still space.  


bernard's picture

Why didn't MTR think of it? Is it because it may too expensive for such installation? Or it is difficult to enticipate the dynamics of the foot traffic inside and outside of the train? I think we have to figure out a way to conduct an experiment to find out how this may work.