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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Asian Opinions, Mailbox

The problem with female-only cabins

The Straits Times | Thursday, May 15, 2014

Miss Grace Lee's suggestion ("Have female-only train carriages"; last Wednesday) should not be considered, if one looks at the countries where such a measure is in place.

Malaysia's LRT system has female-only cabins that are sparsely occupied, while couples and women with families are packed like sardines in the other carriages during peak hours.

In Dubai, the female-only carriages are occupied mostly by tourists and expatriate workers, as single local women rarely travel alone. These carriages are hardly filled, while married women travelling with their families have to endure a tight squeeze in the other almost-full carriages. The difference is most glaring during peak hours.

The fact that almost all rail systems in the world do not have female-only cabins speaks for itself. Such a measure generates more problems than it solves.

Trains are only one mode of public transportation. So do we also have female-only buses?

Letter by Steven Chua

This article was published on May 13 in The Straits Times.

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