Changi Airport MRT station closure: It's business as usual

Travellers boarding a shuttle bus at Changi Airport Terminal 3 yesterday, when the Changi Airport MRT station was closed.
Travellers boarding a shuttle bus at Changi Airport Terminal 3 yesterday, when the Changi Airport MRT station was closed.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

It was business as usual at Changi Airport MRT station during lunchtime yesterday, despite its full-day closure for maintenance works by operator SMRT.

Travellers were directed by officers from SMRT, the Land Transport Authority and Changi Airport to the shuttle bus bay at Terminal 3.

There, people could pay $1 to hop onto an express bus leaving for Bugis MRT station every 15 to 18 minutes, or board a shuttle bound for Tanah Merah and Expo MRT stations that left every three to five minutes during peak hours.

There was no train service yesterday between Pasir Ris and Aljunied stations on the East-West Line, which is operated by SMRT.

The rail operator had been plagued by a recent spate of train breakdowns, and closures had been planned to facilitate works.

This month, some stations on the East-West Line will have shorter operating hours on weekends, including full-day closures on two Sundays - yesterday and Jan 28. This is the second round of planned closures for rail maintenance and upgrading works. Last month, 17 stations on the East-West Line and two North-South Line stations had shorter weekend operating hours and full-day closures on two Sundays.

When The Straits Times visited the airport at about 12.30pm yesterday, queues for the buses were short, and passengers appeared calm despite the inconvenience.

Malaysian Karen Lai, 60, who flew from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore to visit her children, said: "I was quite surprised by the closure, because I actually told my kids not to pick me up and that I would just take the train." The housewife said she would take a taxi instead.

Miss Mary Ling, 26, yesterday returned to Singapore from a holiday in Phuket. But the clerk was unperturbed by the closure. "I'll just take the shuttle bus to Bugis."

Mr Axel Pahne, 23, who flew in from Krabi, was headed to Chinatown. He was told to take a shuttle bus to Bugis, and then take a train.

The Nanyang Technological University exchange student from Sweden said: "It'll probably take me 15 to 20 minutes longer to get to my destination, but it's okay."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 22, 2018, with the headline 'Changi Airport MRT station closure: It's business as usual'. Print Edition | Subscribe