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Rush Hour

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There was this guy who was always keen about his trip on the Manila Light Rail Transit System [LRT]. As the train passes by, he would take note of some variables; time, train operator, train number, model, etc. Even though there exists an unprecedented problem when it comes to passenger volume in the LRT, he made sure that he would always end up having a seat or getting in the earliest possible train at the very least. From a distance, he could tell by the head end of the train, the exact position of where each door would open. But isn’t that what the yellow lines are for? Sadly, yes. But due to the overlooked quality and lack of maintenance of the public service, the yellow lines are highly inaccurate. Nevertheless, they are still dependent on some things. And yes, that guy was me. At present, the service has 3 models in rotation and if observed closely, other yellow markings seem to be darker (dirty old paint). Newly painted yellow lines correspond accordingly to the latest import and model of trains. But at the stations, old yellow lines which correspond to the oldest of the models hasn’t been removed yet.

The older models also have which they call a “half-train”, instead of the usual 4 compartments, it has one less (why not call it “three-quarters train?”) they also comply with the old yellow lines. The other model, which I believe is an import from the other LRT line, doesn’t have yellow lines corresponding to its doors and stops at random points. I also figured that during rush hour, when passenger limit is at its peak, it is more likely to aboard the train in the middle doors of a compartment rather than the ends. This is because of the passenger flow inside the train which can be paralleled to fluid dynamics. Once inside the train, I try my best to figure the color of the seated passengers’ tickets are in order to determine who will alight the train soonest (I position near them, of course) Analyzing these patterns/algorithms has led me to build an efficient strategy to get home the fastest, without having to run.

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