Channel NewsAsia

Trial lets commuters charge mobile devices at four MRT stations

City Hall, Orchard, Tanjong Pagar and Kent Ridge MRT stations will have charging points for commuters’ use over the next few weeks.

SINGAPORE: Train commuters will be able to charge their mobile devices for free at four MRT stations – City Hall, Orchard, Tanjong Pagar and Kent Ridge – under a trial launched by SMRT over the next few weeks.

Having charging points at its stations is one of the new initiatives rolled out by the rail operator to enhance commuters’ travel experience. The four stations were chosen for the trial due to their high traffic flow, with the first charging point installed at the free concourse area at City Hall MRT station late last week.

“We would like to assure our commuters that even as we roll out these new service enhancement initiatives to improve commuter travel experience, we remain committed and focused on ensuring reliable train service through the procurement of new trains and ongoing asset renewal programmes,” said Mr Patrick Nathan, SMRT’s vice-president for corporate information and communications.

There are three low voltage charging outlets at each point. Two of them have USB ports that allow commuters to plug in their own adapters and cables.

Many subway stations in South Korea offer phone-charging services, while in Taiwan, such free services are available at high-speed railway stations and some Taiwan Railways stations.

“We will gather feedback and suggestions from commuters through a survey before making a decision on extending this service to more stations across the SMRT rail network,” said Mr Nathan.

Other efforts to make the train journey more pleasant include getting buskers – endorsed under the National Arts Council’s Busking Scheme – to perform during the morning and evening peak hours.

The pilot started this month at five MRT stations – Jurong East, City Hall, Raffles Place, Eunos and Bukit Batok – and will run for three months.

Although commuters TODAY spoke to welcomed the latest move by SMRT, some said they will not use the charging points unless they have the time to charge their devices.

Mrs Mandy Lee, a 52-year-old administrator, said: “I won’t go there (to the MRT station) specifically to charge my phone because it means I have to stand and wait. A portable power bank will be more convenient.”

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia