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New platforms to improve crowd flow

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Improvements at Choa Chu Kang LRT station to be ready on Tuesday

Getting on and off trains will be easier at the Choa Chu Kang LRT station from Tuesday, when two newly constructed platforms will open for alighting passengers.

This will ease congestion during peak hours, when other passengers are trying to board the train from the existing platforms.

Land Transport Authority (LTA) director of rail expansion Chuah Han Leong said during a site visit yesterday that the additional platforms will help to "improve the crowd flow".

Train doors facing the new platform for alighting will first open for seven seconds, before doors open on the opposite side for passengers to board.

Each of the new platforms will have a dedicated staircase and escalator, although the LTA said space constraints made it impossible to install lifts.

One of the new platforms is built between the LRT and MRT viaducts, with a space clearance of just 4m.

Commuters who require the lift, such as wheelchair users, will have to alight at the existing platforms.

The LTA said signs and directions will be put up at stations and in train cars, so commuters know which platform to use. SMRT staff will also be stationed to assist commuters.

Discussing challenges faced during construction, Mr Chuah said the bulk of works had to be confined to a small window in the wee hours when trains were not running.

The new platforms are part of a $12 million upgrading project, which begun in 2013, to enhance the Choa Chu Kang station, an LRT and MRT interchange.

Other completed works include additional fare gates at the LRT and MRT stations, linking commuters directly to the Lot One shopping mall and bus interchange.

The staircase used by commuters to transfer between the MRT and LRT was also doubled in width.

The enhancements will help meet an increase in commuters on the Bukit Panjang LRT system following the opening of the second phase of the Downtown Line last year.

The Bukit Panjang LRT station connects to the Downtown Line, which carries commuters to the Central Business District and Marina Bay.

The average daily ridership on the Bukit Panjang LRT system was 62,100 this June, an increase of 17.6 per cent over the 52,800 passengers in the same period last year.

Referring to Choa Chu Kang station's improvements, undergraduate Liu Hong Xiang, 23, said: "They help to create a more orderly movement of people. There are also more options for commuters entering and leaving the station."