Ridership on Downtown Line up by 30% since Jan 4: Khaw Boon Wan

Morning peak-hour traffic at Bukit Panjang MRT station on the new Downtown Line 2. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Ridership on the Downtown Line "has been good and continues to grow steadily", Transport Minister Khaw Boon revealed in a blog post on Tuesday (Feb 2) morning.

The number of commuters using the 20.9km-long line has increased by up to 30 per cent since Jan 4 - the first school and work day of this year - Mr Khaw wrote in the post titled "Downtown Line 2: Promising start".

He said the increased ridership has benefited the rest of Singapore's rail network, citing how 5 per cent of commuters who usually use the East-West Line have shifted to the Downtown Line.

"This has reduced crowding slightly at stations like Jurong East. Buses that ply the Downtown Line 2 (DTL2) corridor are also less crowded," Mr Khaw added.

He added that he had high hopes that the new 12-station DTL2, which opened to the public on Dec 27 last year, will encourage more motorists to "give their cars a break".

He said: "I think it will be a game changer in our journey towards a car-lite lifestyle."

Schools in the area, Mr Khaw noted, are already seeing fewer cars dropping off their students, which has made Dunearn Road and Bukit Timah Road less crowded in the mornings.

Business has improved for the restaurants along Cheong Chin Nam Road, near Beauty World MRT station. ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

Shops and eateries, in particular at Beauty World, are also enjoying booming business after patiently putting up with the inconvenience during the construction of DTL2, he added.

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