The Land Transport Authority’s rail master plan is developed closely in consultation with other planning and land use agencies such as the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Housing and Development Board (HDB), to meet Singapore’s medium to long term travel needs. ("Will expanded MRT network help to ease congestion?" by Mr Abel Tan; 14 Feb).
Apart from bringing direct rail connectivity to the corridors they pass through, the new rail lines will also relieve loading on existing lines. For example, some commuters in Ulu Pandan and Bukit Batok have to take a feeder bus, before travelling on the East-West Line to enter the Central Business District (CBD) today. The upcoming Downtown Line will provide a shorter and faster route into the CBD. Commuters travelling to key employment centres outside the CBD, such as Jurong and Changi, will also be able to reach their destinations on the future Cross Island Line (CRL), without travelling on the existing lines. The new lines will thus help redistribute ridership out of the heavily used lines today.
Furthermore, key employment centres outside the CBD are expected to grow, and new towns are planned in areas such as Tengah and Punggol North. The CRL, Jurong Region Line and North East Line extension will support the travel demand arising from these developments.
While the new rail lines take time to construct, we will continue to work with the operators to add capacity along the existing lines. For instance, the North-South and East-West Lines will receive a capacity boost next year, with the arrival of 13 additional trains. LTA will also continue to study ways to make our public transport system more attractive to commuters.
We thank Mr Tan for the opportunity to explain.
Helen Lim (Ms)
Director, Media Relations and Public Education
Land Transport Authority