SINGAPORE: Apart from some momentary confusion as to which door to exit from, it was smooth sailing for the first day of operations for two new platforms at Choa Chu Kang Light Rail Transit (LRT) station on Tuesday (Dec 27).
The two platforms separate boarding and alighting passengers, and are aimed at easing congestion. Commuters arriving at the station will alight at the new platforms - Platforms 3 and 4, before the doors that face the existing Platforms 1 and 2 open for boarding passengers.
Commuters Channel NewsAsia spoke to were mostly positive about the changes and the efforts done to direct traffic.
"It will cause less overcrowding and all, which is much better for residents like us - it's been an ongoing problem for us before these platforms were built up," said Lex Tan, who commutes daily between Segar station and Choa Chu Kang.
"It's better to have more platforms, if not it's very cramped during peak hours. Sometimes it's very difficult for us to go through because there was only one way to go in and out," said Suzana Sairi, another regular commuter who travels thrice a week between South View Station and Choa Chu Kang.
"There's signage in the LRT saying which way to go out, and the (SMRT) staff (will) also give us indication to exit from the left or right before the train stops," added Madam Suzana.
A sign displayed in the LRT informing passengers of changes. (Photo: Loke Kok Fai)
SMRT will post staff members to direct traffic to and from these platforms at the station during peak hours. They will also stay into the off-peak periods during these initial days to monitor the situation.
The new platforms could be more of a hassle initially for those on wheelchairs or pushing prams, said 67-year-old Oh Bee Guat, who uses a personal mobility aid to visit her daughter every week. While each of the new platforms has a dedicated staircase and escalator, they do not have lifts, requiring those on wheels or carrying large, heavy baggage to exit via the old platforms.
"People aren't familiar with the changes - not that it's inconvenient," said Madam Oh in Mandarin. "As long as there's someone to inform us to exit from the platform with the lift, we'll be fine."
Built at a cost of S$12 million, the platforms are part of improvement works first announced in 2012 and completed on Oct 31 this year.