Is this Singapore’s future MRT network?

Ewen Boey

Could this map be a vision of the future of Singapore's MRT network?

[See larger map

It shows Singapore’s existing East-West, North-South, North-East and Circle lines, along with several other MRT lines that fill up gaps in the current MRT network.

Other lines that are mentioned are the Thomson Line (orange), Holland Line (lime green), Choa Chu Kang (lime green), Tampines Line (navy blue), North Shore Line (royal blue) and Seletar Line (aquamarine).

There are also several LRT lines included in the picture, namely the Jurong Region LRT, Tuas LRT and River Valley LRT.

Visible near the top of the picture is a line that stretches into Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

Real or not, this picture has been making its rounds over Facebook, with over 500 users sharing it with their friends. It's also unclear who designed or came up with the map.

But based on maps of other major cities with sprawling train and tube networks, this may be not far off the mark.

In fact, a look at the Land Transport Masterplan revealed that a Tuas extension, North-South Line extension (both to be ready by 2015), Thomson Line (2018) and Eastern Region Line (2020) are in the works.

Yahoo! reader Boeytahan said of the map, "If MRT actually has so many stations, those stations are sharing faciilties and tunnels. If you shop underground, you can travel around Singapore by walking."

Another user, Sin, added, "Of course we still have room for more subway lines. The only worry is flooding after all the underground works. If we are really well connected, then of course the train can be my other mode of transport."

When contacted, a Land Transport Authority spokesperson neither confirmed nor denied the map's accuracy.

Here's their response:

"The planning of our Rapid Transit System (RTS) lines is a complex undertaking, involving careful analysis of urban planning factors such as land use, population and employment quantum. This is first carried out at the macro level as part of the Concept Plan review, where various government planning agencies are involved to map out the long-term blueprint for Singapore's physical development. This is to ensure that land use and transport are well-integrated. A rail master plan is then developed to serve Singapore's long-term transport demand.

Next, planning feasibility studies are done for RTS lines which are identified for implementation in the near to medium term (such as the RTS lines identified in the Land Transport Master Plan). For each of these RTS lines, rigorous analyses such as travel demand, accessibility, land impacts, and engineering considerations are studied. Inputs are also obtained from other government agencies to determine how the proposed line can reap maximum benefits for the community.

Unauthorised maps often give rise to confusion. We advise the public to refer to our website for official and accurate information on MRT lines."

Don't quite understand what they're saying? Seems hazy to us as well.

Anyway, here are the subway networks of London (population 7.8 million) and Tokyo (population 13 million) -- other densely populated cities that rely heavily on trains for public transport.