We refer to Mr Tan Kok Tim’s letter "Build longer platforms for Thomson-East Coast Line” (TODAY, 25 Sep).
When planning for a new MRT line, LTA considers many factors, including ridership, travel patterns and existing land developments. A longer car system requires longer station platforms and larger train depots. This in turn requires more land-take, as well as potentially more land acquisition, which can have significant impact on homes and families. LTA weighs these considerations very seriously when considering the need for a higher capacity system or buffer, and keeps acquisition to only what is necessary.
The Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL), which is Singapore’s fifth major MRT line, will be highly integrated within the rail network. Of the 31 stations on the TEL, seven will be interchanges, giving commuters more alternative routes. Commuters living in the north-south and eastern areas served by the TEL can also take the North-South-East-West Line. From 2017, commuters in the east will have an additional option to take the Downtown Line 3, a three-car system. Further to these, LTA can also work with the operators to increase train trips, where it is technically feasible and necessary.
Taking all these into account, including provision for future growth and reasonable buffer capacity, the TEL has been planned as an automatic four-car train system.
We thank Mr Tan for the opportunity to clarify.
Helen Lim (Ms)
Director, Media Relations
Land Transport Authority