PM Lee at groundbreaking for Lentor, Mayflower stations on Thomson line

Residents and visitors of Lentor at the groundbreaking site for the future Lentor Station. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Residents and visitors of Lentor at the groundbreaking site for the future Lentor Station. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Residents and visitors of Mayflower looking at the pictures and graphic models of the future Mayflower Station. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Residents and visitors of Mayflower looking at the pictures and graphic models of the future Mayflower Station. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivering his speech about the future Mayflower Station. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivering his speech about the future Mayflower Station. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
The construction of the future Mayflower Station along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
The construction of the future Mayflower Station along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong carries five-year-old Joei Toh after he approached the Prime Minister to hand him his dinosaur. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong carries five-year-old Joei Toh after he approached the Prime Minister to hand him his dinosaur. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Construction work has officially begun for two more stations on the new $24 billion Thomson-East Coast line, which will connect residents in the Northern parts of Singapore directly to the city centre and bring schools, offices and amenities closer to their homes.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is an MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC, officiated the ground-breaking ceremonies for the Lentor and Mayflower MRT stations - adjacent stops on the upcoming line - on Saturday morning.

The 43-km line will be opened in stages, with the last batch of stations slated to open in 2024. Both Lentor and Mayflower stations are expected to be ready in 2020.

The sixth MRT line will "make public transport more convenient and attractive", said Mr Lee, who spoke at both ceremonies.

The Government has been working to improve both bus and rail connections, he said. By 2030, the rail network here will double and eight in 10 households will be within a 10-minute walk from a train station.

And with the Bus Service Service Enhancement Programme, 1,000 more buses will be plying the streets by 2016.

"I hope you can go out, leave your car at home... If you leave your car at home a few more times, then you may decide you don't need to have a car and you don't need to have a COE afterall," he told residents and grassroots leaders at the Lentor ground-breaking event to laughter. Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Seng Han Thong also attended the event.

And with plans to develop the area around the Teacher's Estate, Lentor will be a vibrant place to live in by the time the new station opens, Mr Lee said.

"This demonstrates our determination to make Singapore a good home," he added.

Kebun Bahru residents can look forward to the Mayflower station reflecting the neighbourhood's active bird singing club. The estate is home to a field where over 1,000 bird cages can be accommodated and large crowds gather on Sundays.

The station architecture, therefore, will be based on the theme of birds, said Mr Lee at the Mayflower station ground-breaking, where MP Inderjit Singh was present.