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SINGAPORE — For 30 years, Canberra MRT station existed on paper and some train commuters who have taken a ride on the North-South (NS) Line to the northern part of Singapore might have wondered about the “missing” NS12 station between Sembawang (NS11) and Yishun (NS13).
The NS12 Canberra station was finally opened on Friday (1 November) by Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.
Khaw said there has always been a plan to build Canberra station and hence the Sembawang and Yishun stations were numbered as such.
Canberra station will start operations on Saturday and the first train is estimated to arrive at the station at 5.29am.
With each MRT line being a multi-billion-dollar investment, the authorities take a conservative and prudent approach to ensure that each new project has clear objective benefit and financial hurdles, Khaw explained. Similarly, work on each station takes into account projected commuter traffic, capital and running costs.
“We do so seriously, because we have a heavy responsibility to minimise the burden on both taxpayers and commuters. We seek to avoid poor utilisation and unnecessarily high operating costs. We certainly do not welcome white-elephant MRT stations,” said Khaw, who is also Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure.
Canberra station was not built until a sufficient number of residential projects had been launched nearby, according to Khaw. More than 17,000 households are within a 10-minute walk to the station and a train ride from there to Marina Bay would only take about 30 minutes, he said.
Khaw also noted the complexity of the project as the station was built over a “live” MRT line.
Canberra is the first MRT station where commuters can go to the ticketing platform via an overhead bridge. It is also the first station to be awarded the Platinum rating for the Building and Construction Authority’s new Green Mark for Transit Stations for its green features such as energy efficient air conditioning and lighting systems.
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