10-minute grace period for re-entry at Stevens Station

Commuters will be given a grace period of 10 minutes if they enter the wrong platform at Stevens Station on the Downtown Line 2.

This grace period, starting from Jan 2 when paid fares begin, will give them sufficient time to exit the fare gantries and tap in at the correct platform without being charged the minimum fare.

Under the distance-based fare rules, tapping in and out of any station - even without any travel - will incur a minimum fare.

This amounts to 83 cents for underground stations and 78 cents for above-ground stations.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) made this announcement yesterday following a number of complaints from commuters last week, when the station's design was announced.

Commuters said that such a design was "ridiculous" and there should be an automatic refund despite LTA saying that passengers may approach the Passenger Service Counter if they enter on the wrong platform.

At Stevens Station, the two platforms - one in the direction of Bukit Panjang, and the other towards Chinatown - have separate sets of fare gates.

Once past the fare gantries of either platform, commuters are not be able to make their way to the other, as there is no link between the two.

In all other stations, however, commuters tap in at fare gantries at a concourse level before going to the platforms.

LTA explained that the station's construction was a challenging one due to site constraints.

Stevens Station, located near the Wayang Satu Flyover and the Bukit Timah Canal, is the smallest station on the Downtown Line.

LTA chief executive Chew Men Leong said: "The flyover and canal posed exceptional challenges to building a station. To enable a station to be constructed at all within the site constraints, our engineers built what we call a 'stacked station'.

"Without this solution, it would be near impossible to provide a service to the residential, student and commercial population in this area."

As the rail network grows increasingly dense, more stations may be located within tight corridors, LTA added yesterday.

"LTA will continue to seek innovative ways of designing and building stations to make commuting as convenient and user-friendly as possible," the authority added.

Commuter Tan Kok Tim, a retiree in his 60s, said: "A grace period is a short-term solution. The station should be redesigned to be seamless, friendly and easy to use."


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