New MRT stations and line extensions to offer better connectivity

The Land Transport Authority unveiled its plans for the next two decades with three broad goals - a '45-minute city' with '20-minute towns', transport for all, and safer journeys that also promote healthy living. Zhaki Abdullah and Toh Ting Wei report.

Enhancements to the North-South, Downtown, Thomson-East Coast and Cross Island lines under the master plan will see the total rail network extend to almost 400km by 2040.
Enhancements to the North-South, Downtown, Thomson-East Coast and Cross Island lines under the master plan will see the total rail network extend to almost 400km by 2040. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

The extension of the Downtown Line (DTL) with a new Sungei Kadut interchange station will help improve connectivity and is a development that many residents in the area had been hoping for, MP for the area Lawrence Wong said yesterday.

In a Facebook post on the new station, Mr Wong, who is also the Minister for National Development, said: "Good news for our Limbang and Yew Tee residents! The extension of DTL is something that has been on the wish list of many residents, and I'm glad that we are able to make it happen!"

Currently, commuters who want to switch from the North-South Line (NSL) to DTL must alight at Choa Chu Kang station on the NSL, and take the light rail to Bukit Panjang on the DTL. The new station, to be built between Kranji and Yew Tee stations on the NSL, can shave up to 30 minutes in trips to the city.

It will also serve upcoming industrial developments in Sungei Kadut that will house firms from the metal, machinery and timber industries. Trendspace, branded as Singapore's first high-rise, multi-tenanted development housing furniture and furniture-related firms, will also be located in the vicinity.

Meanwhile, the new Brickland station will make trains more accessible to people in areas such as Keat Hong. Account executive Charmaine Ng, 25, a resident in the area, said while she can access the current MRT stations with a short bus ride, having Brickland as a walkable option could help her cut her journey by a few minutes.

At the launch of the Land Transport Master Plan 2040 yesterday, Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary said: "The Brickland and Sungei Kadut stations are going to be part of that process of bringing our public transport system closer to people.

"The areas that they serve are going to have a lot more residential spaces, and the whole idea of how we reshape and refashion our city will mean that we have to think about making sure we have MRT stations close to where people live."

Updates on the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) and Cross Island Line (CRL) were also announced yesterday. The TEL will be extended to provide a direct rail connection to Changi Airport by around 2040. It will pass through the future Terminal 5, and connect to the stretch between Tanah Merah and Changi Airport stations on the East-West Line.


The TEL will open in phases from this year, starting with a three-station stretch from Woodlands South to Woodlands North.

As for the CRL, it will connect Changi to Sin Ming by 2029, and extend to Punggol by 2031. When fully completed, the line will connect Changi to Jurong.

Beyond reducing travel time, the authorities have attempted to shorten travel distances by creating regional employment centres to take jobs beyond the Central Business District and closer to home. Four new centres are in the works - the Woodlands Regional Centre, Punggol Digital District, Jurong Innovation District and Jurong Lake District. Each district will have a distinct identity, such as with the Jurong Innovation District, which seeks to develop products and services of the future.

LTA said these centres will be supported by future rail enhancements, such as TEL, the Jurong Region Line and North East Line extension.

Transport economist Walter Theseira told The Sunday Times that while the rail developments have their benefits, it should be recognised that they are unlikely to have as large an impact as major new lines in the past. "The backbone of our train system is already there. What we are doing now is filling gaps and correcting redundancies."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 26, 2019, with the headline 'New MRT stations and line extensions to offer better connectivity'. Print Edition | Subscribe