Facilities on the Mass Rapid Transit

The Mass Rapid Transit system is the rapid transit system in Singapore.

tation layout

MRT stations are generally either above-ground or underground, with Bishan Station being the only exception at grade level. Stations have two classifications of areas, "paid" and "unpaid" areas, which allow the rail operators to collect fares by restricting entry between the areas only through the fare gates, also known as "access control gates". Commuters enter the paid area in order to board a train; and must enter the unpaid area in order to access the street, and must therefore pass through the gates. These gates, connected to a computer network, are capable of reading and updating electronic tickets capable of storing data, and can store information such as the initial and destination stations and the duration for each trip. Fares are collected on the basis of this information.

A typical station has a concourse level and one or more platform levels. The concourse level consists of the ticketing machines and the access control gates between the paid and unpaid areas. Tickets are presented at these gates in order to pass between the unpaid and paid areas. Escalators and stairs providing access to the platform level are located only within the paid area. The platform level is where passengers board and alight from the trains. Most of the time this consists of one actual platform island with two sets of tracks for opposite directions running on either side. Except for Changi Airport Station, the concourse level and the platform levels are separate levels. Escalators and stairs between the concourse and platform levels, as well as the concourse level to the street level if necessary. Most stations have only one platform level. However, cross-platform interchange stations have two or more platform levels, one for each train line. These extra levels, together with the linkways connecting between them, make interchange stations to have more levels than a typical station that serves only one line.

In above-ground stations where trains run on viaducts, the concourse level can be either be located on the ground level or on the second level, with the platform level above it. When the concourse level is on the second level, a pedestrian overpass may sometimes link the unpaid area of this level to another prominent building nearby, such as a polytechnic. In underground stations, the concourse level is typically an underground level, with the platform levels below it. For most underground stations where the concourse level is underground, there will be pedestrian underpasss that lead to street accesses on top of the station area or basement levels of neighbouring buildings. Some stations, particularly interchange stations, are deep enough to be shielded from conventional bomb attacks from the air and act as bomb shelters. This status is enhanced by the fact that underground MRT systems have prebuilt ventilation systems with air-conditioning to ensure a degree of comfort in the unlikely event of a conventional air assault.

Facilities and services

All stations have General Ticketing Machines (GTMs), at least 1 Passenger Service Centre, payphones, toilets, LED displays and plasma displays (showing the time, date, train service information, safety messages and commercials), located within the unpaid area of the concourse level. Some stations however, such as the underground Somerset Station, have toilets located at street level instead.

Most stations have commercial space set aside for supermarkets, convenience stores, kiosks, Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) and self-service automated kiosks for a myriad of services. Plans are currently underway to increase the amount of commercial space at many SMRT Corporation stations as part of SMRT Corporation's efforts to raise rental revenue from the leasing of commercial space in its stations to help in the defraying operating costs (which in turn could possibly lead to fewer and lower fare increases). Selected stations, located in areas of higher commuter traffic, will be rebranded as Xchanges.
* Raffles Place Station's Raffles Xchange
* Dhoby Ghaut Station's Dhoby Xchange
* Choa Chu Kang Station's Choa Chu Kang Xchange.
* Boon Lay Station's Boon Lay Xchange
* Tanjong Pagar Station's Tanjong Pagar XchangeA [http://www.shoppingatsmrt.com website (Shopping at SMRT)] is being developed to showcase the retail offerings at each SMRT Station.

MediaCorp's the Today newspaper and Singapore Press Holding's mypaper are distributed at most stations every morning. An afternoon edition of the Today newspaper is also distributed at selected stations within the Central Business District, such as City Hall Station and Tanjong Pagar Station in the afternoons.

Passenger information system

Plasma displays

Singapore is one of the few cities in the world to utilise plasma displays in metro stations to display train service information. The majority of metro systems worldwide either forgo the use of electronic displays or use LED displays as they are cheaper to install. Critics have opposed the use of plasma displays as they are considerably more expensive to install and are susceptible to the problem of screen burn. However, the rail operators see this as a medium to earn advertising revenue from commercials shown on these displays. At the same time, they are able to display all the train service information, safety messages and time and date on these screens clearly. Using the flip dot system previously, only a limited amount of information could be displayed.

"Plasma Displays by Conrac" are installed in stations along the North South Line & East West Line. 2 plasma displays are installed at a single location per platform. The reason for the installation of only 2 plasma displays at a single location per platform was because these displays had been retrofitted into the platforms when they replaced the aging flip dot displays which were only sited at 1 location per platform. Thus, the existing infrastructure available could only support plasma displays at 1 location per platform.

"Plasma Displays by Advanced System Asia (ADV)" are installed at the concourse levels of stations along the North East Line. These were the first generation of plasma displays installed in these stations. However, the normal Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) for plasma displays is about 35,000 hours or about 4 years. Because these displays were tested and commissioned for use more than 5 years ago, burnt marks had appeared, brought about by a sharp contrast of the display of a certain combination of colours over a long period of time. As such, the Land Transport Authority had to replace these displays, though only at the platform level.

"PPM42S3QX/XSS Plasma Displays by Samsung" are installed at the platforms in stations along the North East Line. Unlike the platforms along the North South Line & East West Line, 2 plasma displays are installed at each of 2 locations per platform. The reason for the installation of 4 plasma displays per platform was because these displays were installed at the platforms right from the station's construction phase & thus had the necessary infrastructure to support them at 2 different locations per platform.

Liquid Crystal Displays

6 liquid crystal displays are installed in each train car. These show silent commercials, safety videos, the name of the next station & terminating station name. These are installed in the Alstom Metropolis Cars & the C751B Cars only. However at present, the units on the C751B cars have been turned off.

LED Displays In Stations

These are installed at the entrances & the concourse level of the stations. They show the estimated arrival times of the next trains per platform, safety messages & train service messages.

"LED Displays by Advanced System Asia (ADV)" are installed in stations along the North East Line.

"LED Displays by Wei Long Electronics" are installed in stations along the North South Line & East West Line.

LED displays in trains

These are installed at different locations in each train car. They show the name of the next station that the train is stopping at, the terminating station, doors closing warning messages, seasonal messages (Merry Christmas) & occasionally the date and time. The LED displays in the C751B Cars show the transfer options available at interchange stations as well. These LED displays in trains are found only in the Alstom Metropolis Cars & the C751B Cars. At present however, the units on the C751B cars have been turned off.

Barrier-free facilities

A typical barrier-free route for an elevated station would start at the ramp entrance to the station and following the tactile path, would bring the elderly or the handicapped past the wider Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) gates & into the lift at the concourse level. The lift will feature braille plates on lift buttons, audio announcements and LED displays. Upon exiting from the lift at the platform level, the tactile path will lead them onto a designated waiting area where the doors of the middle train cars will be (and where the designated wheelchair space will be) to wait for the train. The tactile path may diverge at the concourse level to lead to the handicapped friendly toilet or passenger service centre. At all elevated stations where platform screen doors are not installed, tactile studs are installed along the platform edge to serve as reminder for them that they are getting too close to the edge.

The barrier-free route will differ slightly depending on whether the station is underground or located at the road median or design of the station but there will be at least 1 barrier free route for the disabled and the elderly at every station, leading from the street level to the platform level, though some stations will have more due to higher passenger traffic.

All stations on the North South Line (NSL) & stations constructed before 2001 on the East West Line (EWL) initially did not have barrier-free facilities such as lifts, ramps & tactile guidance systems for the elderly and disabled.
* As of 27 February 2007, all 63 MRT stations with the exception of Buona Vista Station have been made barrier free as part of a programme to make all MRT stations accessible to the elderly and the handicapped. Buona Vista Station on the EWL will be barrier-free only when construction works for the adjoining Circle Line (CCL) Buona Vista Station are completed.

In addition, all stations on the NSL & EWL initially did not have the wider AFC gates installed as well.
* As of 2003, all 63 MRT stations have wider AFC gates installed as well as part of a programme to make it easier for passengers with luggage or prams, especially since the opening of the EWL Changi Airport Extension.

Technical information

OTIS is the supplier for the lifts at Changi Airport Station and the North East Line (NEL), while Chevailer who is the distributor for Toshiba elevators in Singapore is the supplier for all other stations on the NSL & the EWL. These lifts typically have a capacity for 15 passengers with a total load of 1000 kilogrammes, though those at interchange or busier stations have been designed with a larger handling capacity.


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