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New immigration kiosks boost efficiency at Woodlands train checkpoint, ICA reports

The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has reported a significant improvement in immigration clearance speed and capacity at the Woodlands Train Checkpoint since the introduction of 10 new immigration kiosks in March. The kiosks, the first of their kind at Singapore’s checkpoints, have made immigration clearance a more streamlined process, similar to that experienced at automated lanes.

ICA stated in a press release on Wednesday (14 Jun) that infrastructure and space constraints made it unfeasible to add more automated lanes at the checkpoint. The new kiosks, which require less space, effectively circumvent these issues. Arranged in clusters to maximize utility, the kiosks have the capacity to handle both inbound and outbound train passengers.

Existing at the checkpoint are three automated lanes, similar to those present in passenger halls at air and sea checkpoints. The installation of these 10 additional kiosks has significantly expanded the clearance capacity, thus reducing overcrowding on train platforms and enabling arriving trains to depart more swiftly.

The Woodlands Train Checkpoint currently manages clearance for 31 departures and arrivals and approximately 10,000 passengers daily. Each transaction at the self-clearance kiosk takes about 24 seconds, compared to the 45 seconds at a manual counter.

Singapore residents, long-term pass holders, and short-term visitors enrolled under the Automated Clearance Initiative (ACI) are all eligible to use these kiosks for immigration self-clearance.

Superintendent Tong Weijie, Woodlands Checkpoint deputy commander and ICA superintendent, remarked, “The self-clearance kiosks have provided a speedier clearance experience for travellers and allowed ICA to allocate more officers to areas needing additional manpower.”

He noted that while the kiosks have been well-received by travellers, there are currently no plans to expand this initiative to other checkpoints. Factors such as traveller volume and space limitations dictate whether or not these kiosks can be introduced at other checkpoints.

“We have to be mindful of potential choke points,” Superintendent Tong added. “In places like the airport or the Woodlands Bus Hall, which see thousands of travellers per hour, such kiosks could actually impede the flow of travellers. However, in more controlled environments like the Woodlands Train Checkpoint, where each train’s maximum capacity is 320 passengers, these kiosks are highly suitable.”

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