LTA to install escalators at Little India and Toa Payoh MRT station exits
Escalators are being installed at one exit each at Little India and Toa Payoh MRT stations to improve accessibility, so that commuters do not have to walk down the stairs to get into the stations.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will finish installing a second escalator at exit E of Little India station by the end of 2023, and complete works at exit C of Toa Payoh station by the second quarter of 2024.
Commuters can currently take an escalator to the street level at those exits, but have to use staircases to enter the station.
The staircase replacement works are part of the LTA’s broader rail enhancement programme for the North-South and East-West Lines, North East Line, Circle Line and Sengkang-Punggol LRT to improve the commuting experience for passengers, said an LTA spokesman on Monday in response to queries.
Other works under the programme include providing railings and barriers at Dhoby Ghaut and one-north stations by the the fourth quarter of this year. Covered linkways at Tampines and Bukit Gombak stations are slated to be extended by the first quarter of next year.
These improvement works will be carried out progressively and are being scoped into different contracts, the LTA spokesman added.
Commuters like Ms Chetana Thapa welcomed the installation of escalators, which was first reported by Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao.
Every month, the 28-year-old housewife visits a pawn shop near Buffalo Road in Little India. There have been instances where she would bring her daughter along in a pram, and end up taking a long detour to the lift at Exit C to enter the station.
The new escalator will make it more convenient when she brings her daughter out to run errands, she said.
Similarly, Mr Neppoliyan Nagarajayan, a 29-year-old factory worker, who uses exit E to get to Tekka Centre for his monthly grocery runs, said it will soon be very convenient to make his way down to the concourse level while carrying heavy items.
The staircase is often heavily used in the late mornings and evenings as temple-goers usually visit the nearby Shree Lakshmi Narayan Temple and Sri Veerama Kaliamman Temple and head back home during those timings, said Mr Nagarajayan. He added that the new escalator will smoothen the flow of passengers into the station.
Housewife May Lee, 65, said a downward-moving escalator is important for commuters in this area as the staircase at the exit gets wet easily when it rains, posing a danger to commuters who may slip and fall when they walk down the stairs.
Mr Ray Chen, a 61-year-old part-time contractor who frequently visits the Toa Payoh Public Library and shops in the vicinity, is looking forward to the added convenience that the escalator will bring.
He is glad that he will not need to walk a longer distance to the lift located at exit D whenever he has his granddaughter and heavy bags of groceries in tow.
“My granddaughter is very active... it is tough to carry so many things while making sure she is going down the stairs safely... so the new escalator will be very helpful for me,” added Mr Chen.
Madam Josephine Koo, a 52-year-old customer services officer, said the escalator will be particularly useful for the elderly, as Toa Payoh is an ageing town.
Separately, the LTA spokesman said the authority has refurbished the toilets at Bugis, Lavender, Yishun, Woodlands, Sembawang and Kranji stations.
Works to refurbish the toilets at Clementi, Raffles Place, Dhoby Ghaut, City Hall, Kranji, Bukit Gombak and Admiralty stations are still ongoing, she added.