Circular railway survey to help shape commuter experience in the futre
IN ORDER to gauge commuter perceptions and help shape the future design of Yangon’s circular railway, Myanma Railways and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) conducted a mass survey last week, asking passengers about the cleanliness and overall service of their train experience.
“We want to know all about the conditions of circular trains, so we need to survey the commuters,” said U Kyaw Soe Linn, an assistant to the general manager at the operating department of Myanma Railways. “We especially want to know how the service experience is for the commuters, whether the trains are clean or not, whether it is a convenient ride for commuters and how often people are using the trains.”
Most of the trains are not considered very clean by passengers, while the service has a reputation for lacking orderly ticketing and seating processes. Air conditioned carriages do not exist on the daily commute.
“Frankly, the trains are not so good but commuters need to take the train more than ever,” said Ma Mar Lar, a passenger on her daily train commute. “Some passengers are eating while riding the train and they don’t dispose of their rubbish properly, while some commuters don’t care about other passengers and play their music really loudly.”
At present, over 70,000 people are using the circular train every day. Myanma Railways hopes that will increase to 263,000 with the planned upgrades targeted for completion in 2019.
‘Some commuters don’t care about other passengers and play their music really loudly.’
Ma Mar Lar Train passenger
Hoping to speed up the service and reduce the city’s congestion by encouraging more train passengers, the railway refurbishment and new trains are being funded in part with a US$200 million loan from Japan.
At present, commuters have long waits for a trains that Myanma Railways is hoping to reduce to 10 to 12 minutes.