Singapore will double its rail network by 2030 in a major expansion announced on Thursday.
As part of the Land Transport Masterplan 2013, two new MRT lines will be built and three existing lines will be extended. This will double the current rail network from 178 km to about 360 km.
LTA said in a statement that it will build the 50-km Cross Island Line (CRL), which will start from Changi and pass through Loyang, Pasir Ris, Hougang, Ang Mo Kio before reaching Sin Ming.
[SEE SLIDESHOW: SINGAPORE'S MRT NETWORK IN 2030]
Continuing westwards, it will serve areas such as Bukit Timah, Clementi, West Coast, and end at Jurong Industrial Estate.
Targeted to be completed by 2030, it will also provide commuters with another alternative for East-West travel to the current East-West Line.
In addition, it will connect to all the other major lines, complementing the existing Circle Line.
Another 20-km Jurong Region Line (JRL) will serve residents of Choa Chu Kang, Boon Lay and future developments in the Tengah area.
It will connect commuters to Jurong West areas and places such as NTU, the Jurong Industrial estate including Jurong Island, and the future Jurong Gateway.
Expected to be completed by 2025, JRL will connect the Jurong region with the rest of Singapore. Commuters in the north will be also able to enter the Jurong area directly via the JRL, without having to interchange at the heavily-used Jurong East interchange.
Expansion to existing lines
Three existing lines -- the Circle Line (CCL), Downtown Line (DTL) and North-East Line (NEL) -- will also be extended.
The CCL will close the link between HarbourFront and Marina Bay stations and save commuters the hassle of making multiple transfers. The extension, which will also pass through Keppel, is expected to be completed by 2025.
The NEL will be extended northwards by one station to serve Punggol North including the new Punggol Downtown.
The DTL will be two km longer by 2025 -- to run through the East Coast area. It will be connected to the East West Line and the Eastern Region Line, which will be ready by 2020, so that commuters can transfer between the Downtown Line and Eastern Region Line in the east.
As for the NEL, two kilometres will be added by 2030 -- in tandem with new developments in Punggol -- to serve Punggol North, including the new Punggol Downtown.
The Downtown Line, which now ends at Expo station, will be extended to the Eastern Region Line by 2025.
The LTA is also studying the addition on the North-South Line between Yishun and Sembawang stations in anticipation of future developments in the area.
LTA said it expects that by 2030, 8 in 10 households in Singapore will be within a 10-minute walk of a rail station.
Jurong resident Shawn Anboo, 23, welcomed the news of the upcoming Jurong Line.
"Jurong will also be a mini-CBD in future so having this line will help many workers working here. Now there’s a hospital and two more shopping centers coming up so the new will definitely be very practical in future," he said.
He also said it would benefit army service personnel in future.
"As an NSF, I was at Tengah Airbase and I had to take a bus from my place to Jurong East station and take a train to Boon Lay and then another bus to Tengah Airbase. So it will be very useful to the future NSF who will be posted to camps like Tengah Airbase, Sungei Gedong and Keat Hong camp. Most NSFs don't have their own transport," he said.
"The only thing is that SMRT should fix their current problems first but I believe that will be done in time," he added.
Fellow Jurong resident Nicole Yeo, 21, said the new JRL line would complement the bus service in the area.
"SBS buses already go in loops like bus 99, 98, 185. A lot of buses already take people through Jurong West. But SMRT should focus on their current problems. If they haven't fixed their current problems, I don't think they should move on to bigger ideas," she said.
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