Commuters to get more space at 17 MRT stations

An SMRT train travelling along the North-South  line between Bishan and And Mo Kio stations.
An SMRT train travelling along the North-South line between Bishan and And Mo Kio stations.PHOTO: ST FILE

As early as 2018, commuters will have up to 15 per cent more space at 17 stations on the North-South and East-West MRT lines.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said yesterday that station platforms will be expanded in a number of ways, including covering some existing voids - such as those around stairs and escalators - and reorganising station furniture.

LTA chief executive Chew Men Leong said: "Besides managing crowding at the platforms during peak hours, we are looking to enhance our older MRT stations by creating up to 15 per cent additional space at some of the stations to make public transport a more pleasant experience for all commuters.

"This is part of the overall rejuvenation of our rail network."

Platform voids at 11 stations will be covered over to create more standing space, while space at the other six stations will be freed up by repositioning seats. In addition, more seats will be provided for commuters waiting for trains.

Works are expected to start in the middle of next year, with the majority being carried out during non-service hours to minimise inconvenience to commuters.

The 17 stations to be upgraded are: Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Boon Lay, Buona Vista, Choa Chu Kang, City Hall, Clementi, Eunos, Jurong East, Khatib, Lakeside, Raffles Place, Pasir Ris, Pioneer, Tampines, Tanjong Pagar and Yishun.

The LTA said it will continue to look at how other stations in the network can be improved.

Transport consultant Bruno Wildermuth said improving commuter experience at stations extends to having better access so that people can "get in and out easily".

He cited Bedok station, where commuters have to get down from the station and cross a road to get to the bus interchange.

Ms Joyce Wong, 37, who is in sales, said she is glad Jurong East station will be upgraded. Despite having been upgraded once in 2011, it is still very crowded, especially from 6.30pm to 7.30pm, she said.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 20, 2015, with the headline 'Commuters to get more space at 17 MRT stations'. Print Edition | Subscribe