MRT station signs to be improved

MRT station signs to be improved

IF YOU are among those who do not always know which station platform to head for as you try to catch the next MRT train, there is hope.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is looking to improve signage at MRT stations, especially at interchanges.

It has called for a tender for specialists to undertake "an in-depth review" of all existing train station signs and recommend improvements.

If necessary, the company that clinches the contract will have to come up with new designs and concepts for station entrance signs, interactive or electronic signs, way-finding signs at interchanges and senior-friendly signs.

"Way-finding signs have always been a complaint among commuters," the LTA said in its tender document. "Excessive signage also causes clutter and information overload."

It said an improved system is necessary, and would be even more vital when the rail network becomes more comprehensive and there are more interchange stations.

The new Thomson-East Coast Line, for instance, will have interchanges with seven existing stations.

More attention will also be paid to guiding elderly travellers in the right direction.

The LTA is looking to replace text signage with symbols.

Lift and toilet signs will probably get distance markers, and bulb-lit signboxes might be replaced with LED or LCD signs.

Commuters have welcomed the review.

Stockbroker Cole Cheong, 48, said he is familiar with the system as he is a regular MRT commuter, but he has had people asking him which level they should go to.

"It can be quite confusing for people who are not regular users.

"For example, if you go from Chinatown to Dhoby Ghaut, and you want to travel to Bugis from there, where do you go? Signs could be clearer and more specific."

Saleswoman Joyce Wong, 37, sees no real need to review the current signage. She said: "There aren't many lost sheep."

However, retiree Jeff Chew, 77, said there is much room for improvement, adding that the current signs "are not very consistent".

"At interchanges, you are sometimes not clear which level to go to,

especially when you need to change trains... a bit of guesswork is needed now."

He would also like to see more train-arrival monitors.

National University of Singapore transport researcher Lee Der-Horng said: "Guiding different user groups in a multimodal environment is always a challenge.

"Based on my observations, the size and colour of the signage can be enhanced to make them bigger and brighter, and stand out from the background."

An LTA spokesman said: "The expansion of the rail network presents us with another opportunity to review the signage system once again in its entirety.

"We will seek to incorporate improvements and best practices from other transit systems... the consultant will be required to submit recommendations by the first quarter of 2016."

This article was first published on Mar 28, 2015.
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