Faster boarding, alighting and transfers for commuters
Commuters travelling on the Bukit Panjang LRT system can look forward to faster boarding, alighting and transfers to the MRT, as two newly constructed platforms at Choa Chu Kang LRT Station will begin operations from 27 December 2016. LTA had earlier announced the construction of the new platforms in 2012, and upgrading works began in September 2013.
Designated platforms for boarding and alighting
2. The two new platforms will complement the existing LRT platform and allow for designated platforms for boarding and alighting. Commuters arriving at the station will alight at the new platforms before the doors facing the existing platform open for boarding passengers. Each of the new platforms will have a dedicated staircase and escalator, for quicker transfers. These improvements will help to ease crowding at the existing platform, especially during peak hours.
3. However, as there are no lifts at the new platforms, commuters who need to use the lift should continue to alight at the existing platform. Signs and directions will be prominently displayed at the station and in the LRT train-cars to inform and direct passengers. SMRT staff will also be on site to assist.
4. To improve the commuting experience, LTA has also carried out other enhancements to Choa Chu Kang MRT and LRT stations. These include providing new fare gate entrances at both the MRT and LRT stations. The new entrances improve connectivity to the bus interchange and the adjacent shopping mall. Besides these, the transfer staircase leading from the LRT to the MRT station platform was reconstructed and widened to ease congestion. Two high-volume low-speed fans were also installed at the existing LRT station platform to provide a cooler environment for commuters waiting for the train.
Working within limited space and time
5. Construction of the two additional platforms posed a major challenge as the project team had to work within the constraints of limited time and space. As works were carried out adjacent to live MRT/LRT tracks and mostly after passenger service hours, detailed planning, sequencing of work activities and teamwork were key to complete the project safely and on time. Space was another constraint as one of the new platforms had to be built between the MRT and LRT tracks with only 4m width clearance. LTA, SMRT and the appointed contractor worked closely together to overcome these challenges and ensure the safety of the public and train operations.