Free travel on Dec 5 preview of Downtown Line 2

The Beauty World station on the 16.6km Downtown Line 2, which officially opens on Dec 27. Travel time is expected to be cut by up to 40 per cent with the new line.
The Beauty World station on the 16.6km Downtown Line 2, which officially opens on Dec 27. Travel time is expected to be cut by up to 40 per cent with the new line.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

Public can check out new stations, amenities ahead of line's official opening on Dec 27

The public will get a preview of the Downtown Line 2 (DTL2) on Dec 5, ahead of its official opening later in the month.

They can travel for free on the DTL2 that day from 10am to 6pm, and check out the station layouts and surrounding amenities of the 12 new stations. The 16.6km DTL2, officially opening on Dec 27, extends the MRT network to the north-western region of Singapore, such as Bukit Panjang, and passes through the Bukit Timah corridor.

Travel time for commuters is expected to be cut by up to 40 per cent with the new line. For example, a trip from Bukit Panjang to Bugis, which now takes about 50 minutes, will be slashed to 30 minutes.

The 12 stations on the DTL2 are: Bukit Panjang (interchange), Cashew, Hillview, Beauty World, King Albert Park, Sixth Avenue, Tan Kah Kee, Botanic Gardens (interchange), Stevens, Newton (interchange), Little India (interchange) and Rochor.

The interchange stations link to the Bukit Panjang LRT, Circle Line, North-South Line and North-East Line respectively.

Upon its launch on Dec 27, the DTL2 will connect commuters to the existing six-station DTL1 that now takes riders to the Marina Bay area.

To encourage more commuters to try out the DTL2, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will offer free travel on the entire Downtown Line from Dec 27 to Jan 1 next year. They need only start and end their journey at any of the 18 DTL stations to enjoy free travel, the LTA said.

Meanwhile, commuters who try out the DTL2 on Dec 5's open house will be treated to games and activities held at six stations - Rochor, Little India, Newton, Botanic Gardens, Beauty World and Bukit Panjang. Celebrities, including Chua Enlai, Irene Ang and Suhaimi Yusof, will lead the festivities.

The six stations on the DTL1 had an average daily ridership of 67,000 as of the first quarter of the year. The entire Downtown Line, with the third phase (DTL3) opening in 2017, is expected to have a daily ridership of 500,000.

The DTL3 will be 21km long, with 16 stations including MacPherson, Tampines and Expo.

Another welcome change for commuters on Dec 27 will be the reduction of bus and train fares. The adjustment, which takes into account last year's drop in energy prices, will see fares cut by up to 4 cents per journey.

Commuters such as Mr Jagathishwaran Rajo, 28, an industrial relations officer, said the DTL2 will give him another option. "On days when I don't drive to work, I'll take the bus, but now I can also take the train," said the Bukit Panjang resident, who works in the Marina Bay area.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 05, 2015, with the headline 'Free travel on Dec 5 preview of Downtown Line 2'. Print Edition | Subscribe