Platforms at Stevens station have their own fare gantries

Commuters on the wrong platform at Stevens station on DTL2 will be unable to cross to its other platform without exiting the gantries, which will incur a charge.
Commuters on the wrong platform at Stevens station on DTL2 will be unable to cross to its other platform without exiting the gantries, which will incur a charge.PHOTO: MATTHIAS HO FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Commuters will have to make sure that they are at the right platform before they tap in through the fare gates at Stevens station on the new Downtown Line 2 (DTL2), which opens on Sunday.

This is because the train platforms at the Stevens station will have separate sets of fare gantries - the first such arrangement in Singapore's MRT system.

Once past the fare gantries, commuters will not be able to cross between the two platforms without exiting the gantries, which will incur a boarding charge of 78 cents.

At other stations, commuters tap in at fare gantries at a concourse level, before going to the platforms.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said: "Due to the very limited and congested worksite, the (Stevens) station was planned as a stacked station, where one platform sits above the second platform."

Space constraints did not allow a link to be built between the two platforms - one for trains going to Bukit Panjang, and the other going towards the city.

The LTA said that the 40m-deep Stevens station is one of the smallest stations on the DTL2, and is constructed parallel to Bukit Timah Road, with residences and shophouses in the surrounding area. The station is also close to the Wayang Satu Flyover, and a wide canal runs parallel to the flyover, it added.

At Stevens station, the LTA has also chosen to place the fare gates at the platforms itself, so that the rest of the station can be kept open for public access in the future.

A 76m-long underpass, now being built, will link commuters to the Singapore Chinese Girls' School in 2021, when the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) section of the Stevens station opens.

Mr Ong You Yuan, 23, a full-time national serviceman, said: "It may be confusing for commuters who have never visited the station before, and especially if they don't read the signs."

He said commuters here are used to going through the fare gantries at the concourse level before looking for their platforms, and may do likewise at Stevens station.

Also, commuters who have taken the train in the wrong direction will find it harder to switch at Stevens station, said Mr Ong, the president of SGTrains, a train-spotting club that gets invited to LTA activities such as focus group sessions.

The LTA said more signs will be placed before the fare gantries at Stevens station to ensure commuters enter the correct platform.

The 12-station, 16.6km DTL2 starts in Bukit Panjang, and passes through the Bukit Timah corridor before connecting to the Bugis station of the Downtown Line 1.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2015, with the headline 'Platforms at Stevens station have their own fare gantries'. Print Edition | Subscribe