I hope SMRT will seriously consider installing electric fans on all above-ground MRT station platforms. I have written twice to SMRT over the past two years to make this request. Both times I received the same reply: Platforms have sufficient natural breeze and there is no need for fans.
Most of my fellow commuters will attest that this is not always the case. Some above-ground MRT stations are sandwiched between blocks of flats or shopping malls, leaving little chance for much breeze. With the introduction of the new platform safety screens which are made of solid plexiglass, commuters will now have to endure stuffy platforms that are often overcrowded with people.
One of the bugbears of taking public transport in Singapore is getting all sweaty and sticky en route to one’s destination. After walking from one’s flat to the MRT station under the tropical sun, we often end up waiting on wind-less platforms, getting our clothes drenched with sweat. While there’s nothing we can do about Singapore’s weather, I believe it is possible to cool down the waiting areas on the MRT stations with the installation of fans, in order to provide a more pleasant overall commuting experience.
If cost is an issue for SMRT, I would like to suggest that LTA (Land Transport Authority) co-fund the installation of these fans. If the Government is serious about getting Singaporeans to switch to using public transport, this is a small investment in that could reap surprisingly good returns in the form of increased ridership and improved commuter satisfaction.
(This is the original letter that was sent to TODAY newspaper. It was published on 9 September 2009.)