- The Straits Times
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has unveiled fresh plans to improve the efficiency and inclusiveness of Singapore’s land transport system, which include additional Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations and a possible new rail line.
The authority announced in a statement on Saturday (May 25) the release of its “Land Transport Master Plan (LTMP) 2040” report which encapsulates its long term plans to make the current land transport system more “convenient, well-connected, inclusive and fast” over the next two decades.
One of the most prominent themes in the report was the aim to create what LTA dubs as a “45-minute city with 20-minute towns”, where door-to-door journeys in the city and between neighbourhood centres can be done in 45 and 20 minutes respectively.
To reach that goal, the LTA said it would be improving island-wide rail connectivity through the expansion of the current rail network, including new stations and rail lines in the works over the next 20 years.
Two MRT stations would be opened on the North South Line (NSL) by the mid-2030s, namely Brickland Station located between Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Gombak stations as well as Sungei Kadut interchange station that connect the NSL to the Downtown Line (DTL).
The former will mainly serve residents in Keat Hong, Bukit Batok West, Pavilion Park and the Brickland district in Tengah town while the latter would improve accessibility to Yew Tee, Choa Chu Kang and the Sungei Kadut industrial area, the LTA noted.
The authority added that upon completion of the rail developments, residents living in the north-western region would be able to enjoy time-savings of up to 30 minutes to the downtown area.
The upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) would be extended by around 2040 for direct rail connection from Changi Airport to the city. The airport would also be linked to stations along the TEL up to Woodlands North.
Commuters may also look forward to a new rail line which the LTA said is currently assessing the feasibility of implementation.
The authority said that the proposed rail line would be poised to serve developments in Singapore’s north and north-east regions which may not have direct access to the existing rail network. It would also relieve congestion along the north-east corridor.
“More than 400,000 households could potentially benefit from this new line, with commuters saving up to 40 minutes when travelling to the city centre. LTA’s feasibility study will examine the demand, alignment, station locations and determine its implementation timeline,” said the LTA.
Improvements to bus speed and connectivity
LTA said it would also be improving bus speeds through progressive introduction of more Transit Priority Corridors (TPCs) that come with new features.
These would include smarter traffic light control systems, bus-only roads and dedicated cycling paths alongside bus lanes to reduce travelling times for public transport and active mobility users alike.
The LTA said the North-South Corridor – Singapore’s longest Transit Priority Corridor – will be completed by 2026, saving bus passengers up to 15 minutes of travel time.
- The Straits Times
New integrated transport hubs where bus interchanges integrate with shopping malls are planned for construction in areas such as Beauty World, Bedok South, Hougang, Jurong East and Marina South.
These hubs, according to the LTA, would grant commuters convenient access to amenities while providing seamless connections between bus and train networks.
Such hubs are currently being built in Bidadari, Buangkok and Punggol North, said the authority.
Inclusive transport for commuters of various types was also a highlight of the LTA’s report.
The authority said it would improve current projects such as the gradual implementation of priority queues at all MRT stations, bus interchanges and integrated transport hubs as well as the expansion of the Public Transport Council’s Heart Zone initiative to all MRT stations and bus interchanges.
Priority cabins on trains for seniors, expectant mothers, wheelchair users, and parents travelling with young children and other passengers who need a seat, have been proposed as well, said the LTA.
It also announced its planned partnership with government agencies to make journeys to public housing estates and public sector infrastructure “barrier-free”. For instance, 29 additional pedestrian overhead bridges – including those within proximity of hospitals and polyclinics – are being planned for installation by 2022.
LTA added it would also be installing “next-generation” passenger information displays on all buses by 2040 that show riding commuters the next four stops along a bus route, the bus’ location relative to the stops as well as MRT and Light Rail Transit (LRT) transfer information.