New DTL2 station 1st with separate gantries
TRAIN platforms at the Stevens station on the new Downtown Line 2 (DTL2), which opens this Sunday, will have separate sets of fare gantries.
This means that commuters need to ensure they are at the right platform - one which is in the direction of the city, or the other towards Bukit Panjang - before tapping in through the fare gates.
Once past the fare gantries, commuters are unable to cross between the two platforms. Exiting out of the fare gantries will incur a boarding charge of 78 cents.
This arrangement of having separate fare gantries for each platform is a first in Singapore's MRT system. At other stations, commuters tap in at fare gantries located at a concourse level, before walking towards their platforms.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said: "Due to the very limited and congested worksite, the (Stevens) station was planned as a stacked station where one platform sits above the second platform."
LTA said that the 40m-deep Stevens station is one of the smallest stations on the DTL2, and is constructed parallel to Bukit Timah Road, with the surrounding area comprising residences and shophouses.
The station is also in close proximity to the Wayang Satu Flyover and a wide canal runs parallel to the flyover.
At Stevens station, which will become an interchange to the Thomson-East Coast Line in 2021, LTA has also chosen to place the fare gates at the platforms itself.
LTA said that more signs will be placed before the fare gantries to ensure commuters enter the correct platform.
EXPECT TEETHING PROBLEMS
Meanwhile, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan has warned commuters about teething problems that the DTL2 may face in the first few months of its operation.
In a blog post yesterday morning, he drew an analogy between the new MRT line and the teething pains of his first daughter.
"My wife and I felt helpless, not quite knowing what to do to relieve our girl's discomfort," he wrote. "Well, I will soon experience my first rail line's 'teething'."
The 12-station, 16.6km DTL2 will start in Bukit Panjang and pass through the Bukit Timah corridor towards Rochor, before connecting to the Downtown Line 1 (DTL1) at Bugis station.
Mr Khaw said that despite the thousands of tests conducted by engineers from LTA and SBS Transit on the system, they could not fully replicate how it would perform in a live environment involving thousands of commuters.
He said: "The engineers told me to expect a 'bedding-in' period of several months before the system stabilises. This is common for all new lines."
The DTL1, which opened in December 2013, suffered its own share of disruptions. A train fault caused the line to break down on its first day of operations. A few days later, it broke down again after a power trip.
"This time round, when we need to integrate a new stretch of the line with another that is already in operation, we can expect more challenges," he said.
However, he added: "We are working hard to minimise any disruptions in this teething process."