Ridership Grew 50% Since Downtown Line 3 Opening

News Releases 10 Feb 2018 rail ridership Downtown Line (DTL) Downtown Line 3 (DTL3)

    Since the opening of Downtown Line (DTL) 3 on 21 October 2017, commuters travelling from the eastern part of Singapore to the central and northwest regions have benefitted from the seamless connection. Daily weekday ridership on the DTL grew by more than 50 per cent from 300,000 to 470,000 after the opening of DTL3. The daily ridership on the DTL is expected to steadily increase to more than 500,000 by the end of this year.

DTL Ridership Chart
Figure 1: Steady increase of DTL Daily Weekday Ridership over time

Significant time savings with DTL3

2.  The DTL3 complements the East-West Line (EWL) by connecting commuters in the east seamlessly to the downtown and north-west regions of Singapore. About 60% of journeys involving DTL3 are shortened by up to 10 minutes, compared to previous travel routes without DTL, while 20% are shortened by more than 10 minutes. For example, a commuter living in Tampines East who uses the DTL regularly can potentially save about four hours a week (please see Figure 2).

Stays in Tampines East


Before DTL

Travelling via DTL

Works near Downtown station

50 minutes

36 minutes

Saves 14 minutes per trip; 28 minutes for a round trip, five times a week

Goes for yoga class near Telok Ayer station

52 minutes

34 minutes

Saves 18 minutes per trip; 36 minutes for a round trip

Meets up with friends near Fort Canning station on weekends

54 minutes

30 minutes

Saves 24 minutes per trip; 48 minutes for a round trip

Goes to Bedok Reservoir for a weekly jog

18 minutes

11 minutes

Saves 7 minutes per trip; 14 minutes for a round trip

Total Time Savings:

About 4 hours a week

Figure 2: Example of time savings for commuter living in Tampines East

Bringing greater accessibility to those in the East

3.  Commuters also use the DTL3 to access residential areas such as Bedok and Tampines, and employment areas such as Changi Business Park, with DTL3 commuters mostly boarding at Tampines East and Tampines stations, and alighting at Downtown and Expo stations. Here are some interesting facts:

i.   Before the opening of DTL3, Tampines, the third largest new town in Singapore, was only served by Tampines and Simei stations.

ii.  With the opening, Tampines now has five[1] MRT stations serving its residents and commuters.

iii. DTL3 has also doubled the number of households within a 10-min walk from a station in Tampines and Bedok.

DTL Ridership Stats
Figure 3: Increase in percentage of households in Bedok and Tampines within 10-min walk from an MRT station

4.  The opening of the DTL3’s 16 stations has brought people who live and work in the east closer to train stations. With DTL3 being added to our rail network, 64% of households across Singapore are now within a 10-minute walk from a station. This means that we are one step closer to achieving our goal of having 8 in 10 households within a 10-minute walk from a train station by 2030.

DTL Ridership Chart
Figure 4: Increase in the number of households in Singapore within 10-min walk from MRT stations


5.  The opening of DTL3 has provided commuters along the eastern corridor with an alternative travel route, easing the loading on EWL, especially during peak hours, and enhancing the resilience of the rail network.

[1] The five stations are Tampines (EWL), Tampines (DTL), Tampines East, Tampines West and Simei. 


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