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Excerpt of letter by Lai Soh Fun (Ms) to Straits Times Forum page on 2 Sep 2004

"...Recently, SMRT installed metal plates with huge, raised bubbles - to guide blind commuters - along the yellow line on the platform, what are called Tactiles. However, these are too close to the yellow line and are a hazard. Commuters who move forward when a train approaches might trip over them and fall onto the track.

"My elderly parents usually travel on the MRT alone and I am very worried that they might trip over the metal plates.
"SMRT should have had the plates installed some distance away from the yellow line so that even if someone trips, he won't end up on the track."


Excerpt of letter by Patrick Teo Yu Yeow to Straits Times Forum page on 2 Sep 2004

"...The metal plates with huge, raised bubbles installed on open train platforms by SMRT pose a big danger to passengers when it rains.

"On a wet day, rain spills into the platforms and the metal plates get wet. Once wet, they become extremely slippery.

"The danger increases when the platform is packed, as newly arrived commuters force those before them to move forward onto the slippery plates.
"I shudder to think about the consequences should someone lose his footing just as the train approaches..."


Excerpt of letter by Jennifer Lim (Ms), Executive Director, Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped, to Straits Times Forum page on 4 Sep 2004

"...We would like to correct the misconception that the tactiles installed on platforms of MRT stations are a hazard to commuters, and could be the cause of the recent accidents of falls off the platforms onto the tracks.

"Tactile ground surface indicators (TGSI) are warning indicators that serve as a safety feature, and they provide both visual and physical cues for everyone.

"The physical cues are detectable either underfoot or with a white cane, and this source of orientation information enables the visually handicapped to travel independently and safely.
"The Code on Barrier-free Accessibility in Buildings 2002 has recommended the installation of warning (or decision) tactiles at hazardous locations, including railway platforms.

"Based on the code, a considerable amount of research has been undertaken. This research has confirmed that the provision of TGSi at a height of 5mm is sufficient to impart tactile information while, at the same time, not impact adversely on other pedestrians.

"TGSI can also be found in train stations in places such as Hong Kong, the US and Australia."


Excerpt of letter by Maria Ng Shuyi (Miss) to Straits Times Forum page on 4 Sep 2004

"...I agree with Ms Lai that the metal plates with huge, raised bubbles (tactiles) are hazardous because people may trip over them.

"On quite a few occasions I have tripped over the bubbles on the metal plates but, thankfully, the incidents occurred within the MRT station and not on the platform.

"I applaud SMRT for installing the tactiles in its stations to guide the visually impaired commuters. However, it may not have realised the potential negative effects these may have on other commuters.
"Perhaps SMRT can take a leaf from the book of Hong Kong's MTR, where the stations also feature tactiles but these are made of a black rubber material.

"Although not as aesthetically pleasing as the metal tactiles, the bubbles are softer. One is less likely to fall if one trips over the rubber bubbles."


Excerpt of letter by Han Liang Yuan (Ms), Senior Manager, Corporate Communcations, Land Transport Authority, to Straits Times Forum page on 8 Sep 2004

"...The raised metal plates they referred to are a tactile guidance system which assists visually impaired commuters in an MRT station. Tactile tiles are laid to form a route within a station to guide a visually impaired commuter from a station entrance to the waiting point on the platform.

"Tactile tiles have a raised surface of rounded and elongated studs which are 5mm high. This height has been found to be able to assist the visually impaired commuters while not adversely affecting other pedestrians.

"The design of the tactile guidance system used in Singapore's MRT stations meets an internationally accepted standard adopted by countries like the United States, Britain, Australia and Malaysia.
"On open platforms, tactile tiles are placed 715mm from the edge of the platform, just behind the yellow line. This is farther than the 600mm stated in standards used in Britain and Australia.

"The tactile tiles are extremely important to visually impaired commuters, as they warn them that they are approaching the edge of the platform.

"The tactile guidance system and other barrier-free facilities were introduced after consulting the various interest groups.

"As the system was retrofitted recently in our stations, it is understandable that commuters will have to adjust to its presence..."



Platform doors for elevated MRT stations

"The Land Transport Authority will spend more than $126 million to install platform screen doors at elevated MRT stations to prevent track intrusions...

"Track intrusions have gone up from an average of 16 cases a year in 2004 and 2005 to 30 in 2006 and 31 last year..."

Source: The Straits Times Page B2 3 Sep 2008