10-minute grace period for commuters who enter wrong platform at Stevens station on Downtown Line 2

Fare gantries at Stevens MRT station. PHOTO: MATTHIAS HO FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - A grace period of 10 minutes will be given to commuters who tap in at the wrong platform at Stevens MRT station on the new Downtown Line 2 (DTL2).

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Thursday (Dec 31) that it has adjusted the fares system to allow for that. The grace period will take effect from Jan 2, 2016, when paid passenger service for the DTL2 commences.

LTA, in a press release, said it has also added more signs within the station and deployed more staff to guide commuters to the correct platform.

Due to space constraints at Stevens station in Bukit Timah, the platforms - one in the direction of Chinatown and the other to Bukit Panjang - were built one on top of the other.

Once past the fare gantries of either platform, commuters would not be able to make their way to the other, as there is no link between the two.

This is unlike other stations where commuters tap in at fare gantries at a concourse level, before going to the platforms.

Commuters had complained about incurring a minimum fare if they were to tap their ez-link cards into the wrong platform, and had to exit and re-enter the other one. This amounts to 83 cents for underground stations and 78 cents for above-ground stations.

In response, the LTA said last week (Dec 22) that commuters who enter the wrong platform by mistake can approach the Passenger Service Centre for assistance to go to the correct one without additional charge.

In the press release issued on Thursday, LTA explained why the platforms for Stevens station, which is located near the Wayang Satu Flyover and the wide Bukit Timah Canal, had to be built one on top of the other. Stevens is the smallest station on the DTL .

LTA chief executive Chew Men Leong said: "The flyover and canal posed exceptional challenges to building a station. To enable a station to be constructed at all within the site constraints, our engineers built what we call a 'stacked station'.

"Without this solution, it would be near impossible to provide a service to the residential, student and commercial population in this area."

LTA noted that as the rail network grows increasingly dense, more stations may be located within tight corridors.

It added that it will continue to seek innovative ways of designing and building stations "to make commuting as convenient and user-friendly as possible".

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