More staff on ground during MRT closures

Signage at the link bridge above Changi MRT station informing commuters about the shorter operating hours on the weekends this month and full closures on two Sundays.
Signage at the link bridge above Changi MRT station informing commuters about the shorter operating hours on the weekends this month and full closures on two Sundays.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SMRT will double the number of ground staff deployed for the second month of shorter MRT weekend operating hours, to kick off tonight.

From about 300 staff previously, it will have up to 600 pairs of boots on the ground. They include traffic controllers, crowd marshals and station personnel to guide commuters to alternative travel options, such as shuttle buses.

This month, 10 stations on the East-West Line (EWL) - from Paya Lebar to Pasir Ris, and Changi Airport and Expo stations - will have shorter operating hours on weekends, including full-day closures on two Sundays - Jan 21 and 28.

This is the second round of planned closures to facilitate rail maintenance and upgrading works. Last month, 17 stations on the western part of the EWL and two North-South Line stations also had shorter weekend operating hours and full-day closures on two Sundays.

SMRT's director for operations support and resource management, Mr Vincent Gay, said at a media briefing yesterday that last month, affected commuters had many inquiries about alternative travel arrangements.

Besides putting more and larger signage at affected stations, Mr Gay said, SMRT wants to increase "human interaction" with commuters.

Up to 300 buses will be deployed to run four shuttle bus routes. One will ply MRT stations between Pasir Ris and Aljunied, where train services will be available; and another between Tanah Merah and Changi Airport stations.

For the month of January, 10 MRT stations on the East-West Line - from Paya Lebar to Pasir Ris, along with Changi Airport and Expo MRT stations - will have shorter operating hours on weekends, including full-day closures on two Sundays.

There will also be a one-way service from Aljunied to MacPherson stations, where commuters can take the Downtown or Circle Line. An express shuttle will run in both directions between Changi Airport and Bugis station.

At Changi Airport, a dedicated shuttle bus pick-up and drop-off area will be set up at Gate 8 of Terminal 3's Departure Hall. Arriving travellers will be alerted to the MRT closures through television messages at the baggage claim areas of the four terminals.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2018, with the headline 'More staff on ground during MRT closures'. Print Edition | Subscribe