Singapore will have two new MRT lines, while three existing lines will be extended. These will double the rail network stretch to 360 kilometres, compared with the current 178 kilometres.
By then, eight in 10 households will have a train station within a 10-minute walk, compared with about six in 10 currently.
These plans for the rail network followed a review of the Land Transport Master Plan by the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew announced the new developments when he visited Chinatown Station of the Downtown Line on Thursday.
The new lines are the Cross Island Line (CRL) and Jurong Region Line (JRL).
The CRL will run from Jurong Industrial Estate and pass through areas such as West Coast, Bukit Timah, Ang Mo Kio, Punggol and Pasir Ris before ending in Changi. The 50-kilometre line, which is expected to be completed by 2030, will be connected to all existing lines.
It is expected to relieve the load of the existing East-West and North-East lines and shorten journey times significantly.
Mr Lui said: “The eastern leg of the CRL will also include a segment that extends into the centre of Punggol. Residents in Punggol will be able to take a short cut to Pasir Ris, which is a popular and much demanded travel route, in only 10 to 15 minutes, compared to a 40 minute bus journey that they experience today.”
The other new line — Jurong Region Line — will be completed in 2025. The 20-kilometre line will pass through areas such as Jurong West, Jurong Industrial District, West Coast, Choa Chu Kang and potential new developments in Tengah.
Those travelling from the North to Jurong, like students of Nanyang Technological University, can skip Jurong East Station on the East-West Line.
The LTA will conduct environmental impact and engineering studies to decide on the final alignment, the number of stations and the type of systems that will run on the new lines.
Separately, three existing lines — the Circle Line (CCL), Downtown Line (DTL) and North-East Line (NEL) — will be extended.
The CCL will be four kilometres longer — to close the link between HarbourFront and Marina Bay stations and save commuters the hassle of making multiple transfers. The extension, which will also pass through Keppel, is expected to be completed by 2025.
The DTL will be two kilometres longer by 2025 — to run through the East Coast area. It will be connected to the East West Line and the Eastern Region Line, which will be ready by 2020, so that commuters can transfer between the Downtown Line and Eastern Region Line in the east.
As for the NEL, two kilometres will be added by 2030 — in tandem with new developments in Punggol — to serve Punggol North, including the new Punggol Downtown.
The LTA is also exploring the possibility of an additional station between Sembawang and Yishun stations on the North-South Line, in anticipation of future developments in the area.
Mr Lui said all these changes promise not just faster and more convenient travel.
He said: “We will also have a more resilient network that can better mitigate disruptions in our MRT system and also allow us to shut down parts of the network for longer durations to carry out improvement works without causing too much inconvenience to commuters.”
Mr Lui said the vision for Land Transport in the coming years is to have better connectivity and service to support an inclusive, liveable community.
He said the government will invest heavily to achieve this and provide a much better travel experience for Singaporeans.
He assured Singaporeans will feel a marked difference when new rail lines and new trains come into operation.
Source : Channel NewsAsia – 17 Jan 2013