Downtown Line 3 to open on Oct 21: Where to go and what to see

(Clockwise from top left): The entrance to the new Fort Canning Station, Bedok Reservoir, the interior of Bencoolen Station and Tampines Mall. PHOTOS: NG SOR LUAN, KEVIN LIM, CAPITALAND

SINGAPORE - Downtown Line 3, to open on Oct 21, will double the length of the existing MRT line, adding an additional 16 stations stretching 21km across the eastern side of the island.

It will also provide convenient access to many locations that were previously not easily accessible by public transport.

Here's a quick guide on each of the 16 stations and nearby attractions.

1. Fort Canning

Located right next to the Liang Court shopping mall, which hosts a variety of Japanese eateries.

There is a great conveyor belt sushi place in the Liang Court's basement called Ryoshi Sushi Ikeikemaru which serves airflown fish and super fresh sashimi. Nirai Kanai, also located in the basement, is famed for Okinawan cuisine such as goya chanpuru (stirfried bittergourd) and braised pork belly. The basement is also home to Tampopo Deli, which has a great selection of grab-and-go bentos and Japanese salads.

The station provides easy access to Fort Canning Park, as well as eateries and nightspots at Clarke Quay. Check out Violet Oon's Satay Bar & Grill and a must-eat is the Daging Panggang Sambal Hijau, a 200-day grain-fed Black Angus ribeye steak topped with green chilli sambal and unctuous confit garlic cloves.

Several engineering feats were achieved with the construction of the Fort Canning station, including the diversion of part of the Singapore River. The tunnel linking the Fort Canning and Bencoolen stations is also just one metre above the North East Line, the closest two lines have ever run here. Last year it was recognised by the Institution of Engineers Singapore as one of the top 50 engineering achievements here since 1965.

Fort Canning Centre, inside Fort Canning Park. PHOTO: ST FILE

2. Bencoolen

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Bencoolen Street, where the MRT station is located, is an ideal spot for tourists as it is home to a number of hotels that line both sides of the street.

The station also has little food corners tucked within walking distance. Crossings Cafe at the Catholic Centre is a social enterprise which offers casual, affordable bistro fare while Le Bistrot de l'Olive at the V Hotel offers halal Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare.

The station is also centrally located between three schools - the School of the Arts, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and the Singapore Management University - providing another transport for a combined 11,000 students.

At 43m below street level, the Bencoolen station is also the deepest MRT station in Singapore, beating the Promenade station at 42m. It takes five escalator rides to get out of this station.

3. Jalan Besar

Besides providing convenience to residents of HDB blocks along Veerasamy Road and Kelantan Road, the Jalan Besar station is also near the Berseh Food Centre, home to the famous Lao Liang shark meat stall, Fu Zhou Poh Hwa Oyster Cake and halal mookata. The halal bakery Butter Studio has a cosy outlet across the road. And there is also Bismillah Biryani, a delicious institution at Dunlop Street that offers biryani.

Also, just a two-minute walk away, the Downtown Line intersects itself at the junction of Bencoolen Street and Rochor Canal Road.

4. Bendemeer

The Bendemeer station is a short walk away from the host of hipster cafes in the Lavender street area, serving everything from traditional kaya toast to pancakes, to Instagram-worthy avocado coffee. Posh patisserie chain Antoinette has an outlet at Penhas Road, and check out the Gula Melaka Chiffon from Peranakan Khek at Cavan Road.

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5. Geylang Bahru

Located next to the Geylang Bahru swimming complex, the MRT station is also within walking distance of the Jalan Besar Town Council and the Automobile Association of Singapore, located at GB Point.

6. Mattar

Located next to the Canossa Convent Primary School, the station is also within walking distance of three places of worship - the Church of Saint Stephen, the Grace Baptist Church and the Salim Mattar Mosque.

7. MacPherson

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An interchange station with the Circle Line, commuters getting off at the station should feel safe as it is located opposite the Geylang Neighbourhood Police Centre, where the Public Transport Security Command is also headquartered.

8. Ubi

The Ubi station is just a stone's throw away from Eunos Link, where you can find many of Singapore's car distributors and dealerships.

It also provides another commuting option for workers in the Kampong Ubi Industrial Estate , and, for those aiming to get their driving licence, is also the nearest station to the Ubi branch of the Comfortdelgro Driving Centre.

9. Kaki Bukit

Serving residents in the Jalan Damai and Jalan Tenaga areas, the Kaki Bukit station is a stone's throw away from two schools: Bedok North Secondary School and Telok Kurau Primary School.

10. Bedok North

The new Bedok North station is located near the 14ha Bedok Town Park. Using the Siglap Park connector, the health-conscious can jog all the way from the park to East Coast Park.

11. Bedok Reservoir

A view of Bedok Reservoir. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Adventure seekers should head to the Bedok Reservoir station, a short walk away from Bedok Reservoir Park, where you can jog on the 4.3km track, rent kayaks from Water Venture or take on the treetop obstacle course at Forest Adventure.

12. Tampines West

Safra Tampines - now easier than ever to get to. PHOTO: SAFRA

The more than 15,000 students of Temasek Polytechnic will find commuting easier with the Tampines West station, which is just 10 minutes away. It is also a short walk away from Safra Tampines.

13. Tampines

Tampines Mall is one of three malls near Tampines station. PHOTO: CAPITALAND

Though the new Downtown Line station interchanges with the existing station on the East-West Line, commuters will have to tap out of the fare gantries of one station and walk about 70m to the other station. This is similar to another station on the Downtown Line, Newton, which connects to the North-South Line. There are no additional charges to the commuter if the transfer is made within 15 minutes.

The station is located near the Tampines and Tampines Concourse bus interchanges, as well as three malls - Century Square, Tampines Mall and Tampines One. Tampines Bus Interchange. It is also a short walk away from Our Tampines Hub, which boasts 30 food and beverage outlets, as well as an 800-seat hawker centre.

14. Tampines East

Cyclists will want to head to Tampines East, which is connected via a cycling path to Sun Plaza Park and Tampines Eco Green.

15. Upper Changi

Just 200m away from the Singapore University of Technology and Design, the Upper Changi station makes commuting easier for the more than 1,000 students, who would previously have to walk almost four times that distance to the Expo station.

16. Expo

Visitors to the Natas travel fair at the Singapore Expo on Feb 18, 2017. ST PHOTO: NIVASH JOYVIN

An interchange with the existing Expo station on the Changi Airport branch of the East-West Line, the new station provides convenience for those travelling from the west to Singapore Expo, the Changi City Point shopping mall as well as businesses in the Changi Business Park.

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