LTA to test metal detectors, X-ray scanners at selected MRT stations from Nov 12

SINGAPORE - Some train commuters may soon have to walk through a metal detector and pass their belongings through an X-ray scanner before entering the fare gates, as part of a new trial on enhanced security screening at MRT stations here.

The six-month trial, which will begin next Monday (Nov 12), will see such screening equipment deployed at up to six MRT stations at a time, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Monday.

It will be conducted at selected MRT stations across all rail lines.

LTA said that the information obtained through the trial will enable it to streamline and optimise its security screening processes, and reduce the future impact on daily rail operations.

It added that it will also collect feedback from commuters and public transport operators to improve the effectiveness of future security operations and emergency exercises.

LTA chief executive Ngien Hoon Ping said that public transport operators will also begin using handheld metal detectors in their security checks at bus interchanges and MRT stations.

This will be introduced progressively by the end of the year, he added.

Mr Ngien, who is also the chairman of the Public Transport Security Committee, said that the public transport system is a key infrastructure that serves millions of commuters every day.

"We must remain vigilant against individuals who may be carrying dangerous items that can cause harm to the public," he added.

He said that the authorities will continue to enhance their security measures to ensure that the transport system remains safe and secure for commuters.

On Dec 5, LTA will be conducting an emergency exercise with transport operator SBS Transit at Hougang MRT station on the North-East Line.

Exercise Station Guard will take place from 10am to 4pm.

This will be the third edition of the exercise held this year, which aims to test the preparedness of transport operators in the face of security threats, LTA said.

During the exercise, commuters will be directed to Exit A (near Hougang Bus Interchange) or Exit B (near Hougang Mall), where they will undergo security screening before they enter the station.

Commuters will be required to walk through a metal detector and pass their belongings through X-ray scanners.

LTA said that Exercise Station Guard, which is held regularly, is in line with the SGSecure national movement to strengthen the resilience and security of the public transport network.

"Through these exercises, LTA reviews and validates public transport operators' security measures, contingency plans and operational readiness in the event of security threats at public transport nodes," the authority added.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.