In a move to maximise profits and handle more passengers per train, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will disable the flip seats and make all passengers stand during peak hours. The twelve new trains ordered from Qingdao China have an operator-controlled tip-up seats. Passengers in the train will not be able to control the seats without contacting the train driver.
To be deployed in the overcrowded North-South and East-West Lines, the seats will be folded during peak hours and only unfold during off-peak hours. This will increase the ticket revenue by an estimated 15% where all trains are fully packed with passengers sticking to each other body to body. The move however will likely aggravate molest offences, which has already seen a 60% jump in public transport.
Temasek Holdings-owned transport operators SMRT and SBS Transit are expected to make S$10 million a year from the additional standing space created in the trains.
Singapore’s population is currently 5.71 million, with one of the world’s densest population. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong plans to increase the population to 6.9 million to maintain a consistent new citizen voter base.