DTL2: Traffic flow a bit better outside schools

Schools are confident the traffic situation, such as the one outside SCGS, will improve further as more students become familiar with the Downtown Line 2 option.
Schools are confident the traffic situation, such as the one outside SCGS, will improve further as more students become familiar with the Downtown Line 2 option.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Some students in Bt Timah now go to school by train instead of car

The opening of the new Downtown Line 2 (DTL2) has eased morning congestion slightly outside the schools in the area.

Methodist Girls' School (MGS) and Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) said there was a let-up in the long queues that usually form outside their schools causing a massive gridlock along Bukit Timah Road from 6.40am to 7.30am.

ACS (Barker Road)'s principal Peter Tan said: "The traffic situation appears to have improved after the first day of school. It is quite apparent that the traffic flow is better." The school is near Stevens and Newton stations.

MGS vice-principal Diana Goh said: "We have noticed a slight improvement in the congestion because it is usually really bad in the morning...

"I believe many of our girls live along the Downtown Line, so it should be a direct train for them."

MGS, which is located in Blackmore Drive, is near the King Albert Park station.

A Straits Times poll of 50 students from Hwa Chong Institution (HCI), Singapore Chinese Girls' School (SCGS), ACS (Barker Road), MGS and National Junior College found that 40 per cent have been taking the train to school since school reopened on Jan 4.

Of these, many used to take the bus. Only five of the students, who now take the train, used to get their parents to drop them off at school in cars.

Schools were confident that the traffic situation would improve further as more students become familiar with the new transport option.

SCGS teacher Melissa Loh said: "I think we have to give it some time to see how it goes. But we are very happy to have a station opposite us."

The all-girls school is located opposite Stevens station.

The 16.6km Downtown Line 2, comprising 12 stations, opened on Dec 27 and connects residents from Bukit Panjang to Bugis.

Secondary 3 MGS student Foo Li Ann, who lives in Lorong Chuan, said her travelling time to school has reduced by 10 to 15 minutes. She now wakes up later for school.

"My dad used to take me to school by car. We had to wake up very early in the morning because we wanted to avoid the jam. With DTL2, I take less time to get to school and I don't need to face the congestion," she said.

However, schools said some parents were not very keen on letting their children take the train as giving their children a lift to school was part of their morning commute.

HCI student Yu Shin, 18, and her siblings, who live in Boon Lay, get a ride from their father as they all study in the Bukit Timah area.

"The 'daddy express' is faster and more convenient than taking the DTL," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2016, with the headline 'DTL2: Traffic flow a bit better outside schools'. Print Edition | Subscribe