Pick up pizza, pawn items at this MRT station

COMMUTERS heading to Ang Mo Kio can now grab some pizza or have their teeth polished, without venturing out of the train station. A dozen new amenities, from food and beverage to medical services, are available at the upgraded Ang Mo Kio MRT station.

The attractions headlined the station's facelift in the past year, with enhancements such as extended shelter entrances and more bicycle racks. The changes, which were unveiled yesterday, scored well with commuters.

"These improvements help to make the travelling experience more pleasant," said marketing manager Timothy Chua, 33. "Hopefully, more can be done to ensure the trains come on time."

SMRT promises to deliver on that front. It said yesterday that restrictions on train speed between Ang Mo Kio and Admiralty will be progressively lifted over the next few months.

Trains have slowed to 40kmh, instead of the usual 78kmh, as newly laid sleepers need time to settle on the ballast - the rocks on which the tracks are laid.

Thirteen new trains will also be added to the North-South and East-West lines.

"Commuters can look forward to a shorter travelling time and a smoother travel experience," said Mr Desmond Kuek, president and group CEO of SMRT. "We will continue with our efforts to enhance our commuters' transit experience."

To achieve these goals, the rail operator is also providing free charging points for mobile devices and a traffic light system to help commuters plan their journeys.

More stations may also be upgraded. Ang Mo Kio is the 11th station with shopping and food facilities. Others include Dhoby Ghaut and Woodlands.

Several commuters welcomed the retail additions, which include convenience store Cheers, pawnshop MoneyMax and express pizza outlet Gourmet Pizza to Go.

"It is much more convenient than before," said retiree and Ang Mo Kio resident Florence Lim, 67. "Commuters do not have to go far to get food or drinks."


This article was first published on Nov 8, 2014. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.