Date
21 July 2018
MTR says prority seats are assigned as part of an effort to encourage the culture of offering help to the needy. Photo: Wikipedia
MTR says prority seats are assigned as part of an effort to encourage the culture of offering help to the needy. Photo: Wikipedia

Young people avoid priority seats to escape ‘public trials’

Nearly 80 percent of secondary students are under pressure not to use priority seats on public transport for fear they would be subjected to discrimination if they fail to offer them to those in need, according to a survey.

About 96 percent of 1,715 respondents would voluntarily offer their seat to passengers in need, Apple Daily reports.

The survey was conducted by Beacon Pop Index and Truth Light Society in December.

It found that 73 percent of the students never used a priority seat while 22 percent said priority seats should be abolished altogether.

About 26 percent said they would not offer their seat to another person unless asked.

Eight in 10 students said they fear being under scrutiny if they do not offer their seat voluntarily.

Truth Light Society vice president Helen Fu said young people are fearful of online abuse directed at people who don’t offer their seats.

Priority seats have in a way become a source of humiliation for them, she said.

“When members of the community are willing to offer their seats voluntarily, the need to designate priority seats will no longer exist,” Fu was quoted as saying by am730. 

There are many instances where priority seats are vacant while the train compartment is jampacked, Fu said.

She said people should not take it too seriously. Using the seats under certain circumstances could help ease congestion, she said.

MTR said priority seats are assigned as part of an effort to encourage the culture of offering help to the needy.

However, all passengers are free to use those seats, it said.

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EL/AC/RA

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