SINGAPORE - Two new MRT stations will be built along the North-South Line in the north-western part of Singapore, with the Downtown Line (DTL) extended to join one of these stations by mid-2030s.
The upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line, which starts from Woodlands North and ends at Sungei Bedok, will be extended to provide a direct link to Changi Airport.
A proposed new line, which could run from Woodlands to the Greater Southern Waterfront that extends from Pasir Panjang to Marina East, will also be looked into. It could cut travel time by up to 40 minutes and benefit more than 400,000 households.
These were among the key public transport enhancements announced by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Saturday (May 25), as part of its Land Transport Master Plan (LTMP) 2040.
Should all plans come to fruition, the total length of Singapore's rail network will extend to almost 400km by 2040. The current network spans about 229km.
The report details LTA's long-term plans for a land transport system that will serve Singaporeans over the next two decades.
It listed detailed responses to recommendations by the LTMP Advisory Panel, which had collected feedback from about 7,400 stakeholders. The recommendations were accepted by the Government in March.
The recommendations covered three main themes - a 45-minute city with 20-minute towns, transport for all, and healthy lives, safer journeys.
At the launch of the master plan on Saturday, Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary said: "This LTMP doesn't focus only on the infrastructure deliverables but significantly on the behavioural changes we need to make, as well as the kind of ambition we should have as a city ."
He added that the expansion of rail infrastructure, such as the two new MRT stations on the NSL, is key to the Government's commitment to deliver on a 45-minute city and 20-minute town.
LTA said the new Sungei Kadut interchange station will be built between Kranji and Yew Tee stations. It will serve as the last stop of the DTL, after Bukit Panjang station.
Brickland station, which will be located between Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Gombak stations, will serve residents in areas such as Keat Hong and Tengah.
On the proposed rail line between Woodlands and Greater Southern Waterfront, LTA said it could help to relieve congestion along the north-east corridor and strengthen the resilience of the MRT network.
The authority will study the demand, alignment and station locations, and determine its implementation timeline, before making a decision.
Train and bus connectivity will also improve in several new areas, including Jurong East and Tampines North, with the planned construction of transport hubs where bus interchanges are integrated with malls.
Initiatives to improve bus speeds and build more cycling paths were also announced in the plan as part of efforts to cut travel time.
In terms of making land transport more inclusive, LTA will gradually implement priority queues at all MRT stations, bus interchanges and transport hubs for those with mobility needs, such as seniors and expectant mothers.
It will trial priority cabins on one of the rail lines by next year, and improve the quality of signage and announcements at all major public transport facilities.
For its goal of promoting healthy lives and safer journeys, LTA will improve infrastructure to encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport.
Measures include building at least 150km more of covered linkways to make streets more conducive for walking, and testing a 30kmh speed limit at selected Silver Zones to make the areas even safer for elderly.
LTA also announced that it will install red-amber-green arrows at about 1,000 traffic junctions by 2023 and expand the measure to the remaining junctions after 2030.
Transport economist Walter Theseira of the Singapore University of Social Sciences said: "I think the announcement on the potential new line is the most interesting one because there is a lack of rail connectivity between the north and the north-east, which are two major population centres.
"That will quite significantly reduce the travelling time between these two areas."