Residents tour new stations before revenue service commences
1. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) held an open house today at Pioneer and Joo Koon stations due to begin revenue service on 28 February 2009. Residents enjoyed the special privilege of taking the first train ride along the newly constructed rail line from Pioneer to Joo Koon stations as well as having a sneak preview of the completed stations.
2. The open house was graced by Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport. Mrs Lim said, "Previously, Jurong West was served by only two MRT Stations - Lakeside and Boon Lay. I was at the construction commencement ceremony for the Boon Lay Extension in 2006 and now, less than three years later, I am pleased to join you today for the open house. This MRT extension beyond Boon Lay Station is long awaited, and I would like to thank the community for your patience and support as we look forward to the opening of the extension."
3. Aaron Ng, a 26 year old teaching assistant in a local university, has been anticipating for the BLE to start operation. His residence is just a 3-minute walk to BLE's Pioneer Station. "I used to have to go to Boon Lay Station to take a train. With the opening of Pioneer Station, it is really convenient as the station is just right at my door step. What used to be a 15 to 20 minutes' journey to get to the Boon Lay Station by feeder bus is now just a 3 minute walk for direct access to the MRT."
4. Residents and guests explored Pioneer and Joo Koon stations and enjoyed unlimited free rides between the two BLE stations. Coming from all walks of life, there were students, home makers, children and retirees at the Open House. They were treated to various entertaining activities such as a live band, magic shows, games, balloon sculpturing and fun tattoos. The participants also captured memorable shots at the photo booth and viewed the exhibitions of BLE construction and the overall rail network.
New drop off point for private buses at Benoi Road
5. With effect from 28 February 2009, private buses can utilise a 100-metre pick-up/drop-off point along Benoi Road which is in the vicinity of Joo Koon Station. For the convenience of the workers, there is a covered walkway to link the drop-off point to Joo Koon Station. (Please refer to Annex 1 for the map of Joo Koon station and the location of the drop-off point)
6. Companies located in the Tuas area which provide private buses for their employees can arrange for the buses to pick-up or alight their employees at Joo Koon Station. LTA will inform the respective bus associations and bus drivers about the new drop-off / alighting point at Benoi Road.
About Boon Lay Extension
7. Boon Lay Extension (BLE) consists of two aboveground stations and a 3.8km of twin tracked viaduct and is linked to the existing East West Line from Boon Lay Station.
8. The BLE offers direct access from Joo Koon and Pioneer stations to the existing East-West Line and will reduce travel time by as much as 15 minutes for some commuters who currently require transfers by bus to get to the Boon Lay Station.
9. BLE will serve a projected ridership of 35, 000 commuters.