Read today that one of the Straits Times' reporter, Jamie Ee, took some time off to be a service ambassador. She lamented that even though she tried to coaxed people to move towards the center of the carriage so that more people can come in, these people refused. In fact, most people clutter near the exits because they can alight easier.
Simply put, our infrastructure is being pushed to its limits. When the train system was put in place, I believe that it did not envision the rapid growth of Singapore's population, due largely to immigration. No doubt the train system has now extensive coverage of Singapore bar most of the western parts, its loading is ineffectual when it comes to peak hours.
Lest I rant, my point is simply, it is really hard for most people to move into the center because they know for sure they will have the hardest time coming out. While the transport operators plan is to squeeze more trips with maximum yield, commuters want to have a pleasant trip. I myself have tried to be a very considerate person, moving to the center automatically. But it is really a hassle alighting. Furthermore, as a guy this might not be much of an issue, but for ladies, this might often mean rubbing against a lot of people.
Is there a solution? With the government making a concerted effort to increase the use of rail, while at the same time rationalizing bus routes, people living here do not really have a choice to switch modes of transport. I believe that most people are willing to take a bus ride just because there are higher chances of getting a seat.
That must mean either increasing the capacity of the current trains, increasing the frequency of the trains, or have a way to herd more cats. The first two are in the works, while for the third point let me suggest something like a keep left rule. For example, those who intend to stop at the end most stations from City Hall, such as Joo Koon or Pasir Ris, can have a designated area, or at least guided there. In that case, those who have to stop short, they can just gather at the entrance for all they care, while these stopping latest can have the space they want. Just a thought.