MRT commuters may soon need to walk through metal detectors and pass belongings through X-ray scanners: LTA

The Land Transport Authority announced a six-month enhanced security trial which is set to start on Nov 12.
Singapore Press Holdings

Walking through the faregates at MRT stations may no longer be as simple as just tapping your EZ-link cards.

From Nov 12, you could be called upon for a security screening before you’re allowed to pass through the faregates, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced on Nov 5.

The LTA is launching a six-month security trial at selected MRT stations across all rail lines. Some commuters may need to walk through a metal detector and pass their belongings through X-ray scanners during the trial.

Screening equipment may be deployed at up to six MRT stations at any one time.

Through the six-month trial, the LTA will gather information and feedback to improve on its security screening processes.

Apart from the six-month trial, LTA CEO and chairman of the Public Transport Security Committee, Mr Ngien Hoon Ping, said that by the end of this year, the use of handheld metal detectors will progressively be introduced by public transport operators at bus interchanges and MRT stations.

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

Separately, this year’s third “Exercise Station Guard” will be carried out with SBS Transit on Dec 5 at Hougang Station, from 10am to 4pm.

Exercise Station Guard is a regular emergency exercise carried out with the public transport operators to strengthen resilience and security of the public transport network.

Commuters accessing Hougang station during the exercise will be directed to Exit A (near Hougang Bus Interchange) or Exit B (near Hougang Mall) to undergo security screening before they enter the station. They will be required to go through a walk-through metal detector, and pass their belongings through X-ray scanners.

“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 said.