No sitting! Hong Kong trains to scrap seats for smartphone users

Hong Kong: Hong Kong is pondering whether to rip out some seats from overcrowded metro trains to give the city’s smartphone-addicted population more room to interact with their devices.

Tech space: Currently, the carriages can hold a maximum six people in one square metre of space. The bureau has proposed reducing this number to four, to give passengers more space. Pic/AFP

The transport and housing bureau has suggested that the MTR Corporation, which operates the underground railway system, consider the move to relieve rush-hour congestion.

“There are an increasing number of passengers reading newspapers, or using mobile devices such as tablet computers or smartphones during their trips that require more personal space on trains,” it said.

It recommended the ‘removal of some seats in some train compartments, to increase carrying capacity’ as well as incentives for passengers who travel outside peak hours.

Explaining the move, the transport body added that commuters were less willing to board a train that even looked crowded.

87% Smartphone penetration in the city
4.552 mn Number of people in 2013 who travelled by the metro

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