Student turns MTR train carriage into study space


27th September 2023 – (Hong Kong) Photos circulating online depict a young student with a bag slung across his chest, carrying a stack of heavy books, and opening a folding table inside a train carriage. He appears to be waiting for someone while engrossed in his studies, with a blue plastic stool placed next to the table.

The incident, captured in pictures and shared on various Facebook groups, has sparked curiosity and garnered mixed reactions from netizens. Some have jokingly referred to it as a “mobile tutoring class” or questioned the student’s dedication, asking, “Is studying to this extent necessary?” Others have noticed the pale colour of the student’s lips, speculating that his dedication to studying might be taking a toll on his health, while a few have criticized him for occupying three seats, stating that “reading books to death serves no purpose” or simply declaring, “Studying to this extent is useless.”

While the train was passing through an open-air section, with standing passengers and only two other passengers occupying seats in the same row, netizens have expressed their disapproval of the student’s behaviour, labelling it as selfish and suggesting that the table and stool be confiscated for use by street vendors or urging authorities to issue a fine.

Amidst the humorous comments, some observant netizens have pointed out the resemblance between the table in the train carriage and an ordinary dining table found in many households, jokingly exclaiming, “It’s time for a meal, serve the dishes!” Others have compared the arrangement of the table and stool to the stalls in popular street markets, quipping, “Is this a fortune-telling spot in the subway? Testing fate? It looks like those stalls in Temple Street…”

A vigilant netizen reminded the student to be mindful of the 150-minute limit for ticket validation, as per the ticketing conditions stated by MTR Corporation in May 2022.

In response to inquiries from the media, MTR Corporation reminded passengers that oversized luggage is not allowed in the paid areas of the stations to prevent obstructions in train carriages and station passageways. They urged passengers to be considerate and keep the train carriages clear and accessible. If any passengers encounter similar situations, they are advised to contact station staff for appropriate action.