SINGAPORE TO DOUBLE MASS TRANSIT RAIL NETWORK TO 360KM BY 2030

(The following is a reformatted version of a speech by
Singapore Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew from the ministry’s
website.) 
Speech by Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Minister for Transport, at visit to
DTL1 Chinatown Station, 17 January 2013, 9.30am at DTL1
Chinatown Station 
GPC Members for Transport,
Mr Michael Lim, Chairman of LTA,
LTA Board Members,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen, 
Good morning. 
Introduction 
1    Thank you for joining me at the Downtown Line 1 Chinatown
Station. 
2    Downtown Line 1 is on track to open by the end of this year.
Downtown Line Stages 2 and 3 are also on schedule for completion
in 2015 and 2017. The Downtown Line, at 42 kilometres in length,
will be the most significant line to be added to our rail
network since we started our MRT journey in the 1980s. It will
also be the first of the new MRT lines resulting from the Land
Transport Masterplan (LTMP) 2008, in which we mapped out our
plans to double our rail network from 138 kilometres then, to
about 280 kilometres by around 2020. 
3    With each new segment, commuters will experience greater
connectivity and shorter travel times. DTL1 will increase the
density of stations in the CBD area so that more than 60% of
buildings in the CBD area will be within 400m of an MRT station.
When Downtown Line 2 is completed, residents in Bukit Panjang
will take just 30 minutes to reach the heart of the city,
compared to 60 minutes today. I hope this will encourage even
more car owners to make the switch to public transport, as
travelling by rail then will probably be faster and certainly
cheaper than driving. 
Review of Land Transport Masterplan 2008 
4    Besides new rail lines, we have and will continue to
enhance capacity in our public transport system to support added
travel demand on the rail network. We have increased the number
of weekly train trips by 30% since 2008. Over the next 3 to 4
years, we will be adding more trains and buses to our public
transport system to shorten waiting times and reduce
overcrowding. There will be 25% more trains for the North-South
and East-West Lines, 60 to 70% more trains for the North East
Line and the Circle Line, 70% more trains for the Bukit Panjang
Light Rail Transit (LRT), and 40% more trains for the Sengkang-Punggol LRT. To complement the rail network, we have started to
roll out the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (or BSEP), which
will add significant capacity to the bus network over the next 2
to 3 years. 
5    But while we have made progress in the five years since we
launched LTMP 2008, much more remains to be done. When I came to
MOT in 2011, I asked LTA to undertake a fundamental review of
the Masterplan because I saw further changes in our environment. 
6    First, our population and economy will continue to grow,
and more people and goods will need to be transported. Public
transport capacity to cater to this increase in travel demand
requires time to build. It typically takes 10 to 12 years to
plan, build and open a rail line. Therefore, we must plan well
ahead, plan well and implement promptly. 
7    Second, commuter expectations and norms are changing. We
need to take a more commuter-centric approach in how we plan our
public transport system and policies. Clearly, not only do
commuters expect to be connected to more places, they also
desire shorter waiting times and more reliable services. We will
also need to help shape these norms as they affect operational
optimisation. These include more effective travel demand
management, to spread out travel demand across more hours in the
day, rather than bunching during peak periods. We will therefore
do more to encourage commuters to travel outside the peak hours,
and integrate transport objectives with workplace initiatives
like more flexi-work and flexi-time arrangements. Finally, we
also need to ensure that our transport system is responsive to
fundamental demographic changes, such as an ageing population. 
8    Third, as we continue to grow our city, we will face even
tighter land constraints, and difficult trade-offs that affect
land use and carry cost implications. For instance, the Pearl
Centre and the Thomson Post Office will have to make way for the
upcoming Thomson Line. In building our public transport system,
we will need to take in diverse views from various stakeholders,
and carefully balance these views with the larger public good.
On the other hand, our response cannot always be to build more
lines, or build more roads. Today, the surface land taken up by
roads is already at a very high 12%, compared, for example, to
14% for housing. We need to find other options, such as pursuing
a more aggressively de-centralisation strategy so that there is
a better geographical balance of jobs and people, and being more
creative with our use of space in our bus and rail depots. 
9    As part of the Masterplan review, LTA reached out to
Singaporeans from all walks of life to gather views on how to
improve their travel experience. We collected more than 1,700
pieces of feedback, and met with more than 400 people in focus
group discussions. Through the conversations, we identified
three key aspects that commuters valued most. These are “More
Connections”, “Better Service”, and “An Inclusive, Liveable
Community.” Today, I will cover only the first aspect - More
Connections. At future events in the coming weeks, I will speak
on Better Service and Inclusive, Liveable Community. 
“More Connections” 
10    We will connect you to more places, where you work, live
and interact. With the completion of the Land Transport
Masterplan 2008 rail lines, almost everyone who lives or works
in the city will be able to walk to an MRT station within five
minutes. By 2030, we will have an even denser network of rail
stations both within the city and outside. More areas, such as
West Coast, Loyang, Jurong Industrial Estate and Punggol North,
will be connected to the rail network. Besides faster and more
convenient travel, we will also have a more resilient network
that can better mitigate disruptions in our MRT system, and also
allow us to shut down parts of the network for longer durations
to carry out improvement works. Let me now take you through a
preview of the future in 2030, on the new rail lines and
extension lines that we will roll out. 
Expanding our rail network 
New rail lines to be built 
11    Cross Island Line and Jurong Region Line. We will build a
major MRT line, the Cross Island Line (CRL), to run across the
span of Singapore. Starting from Changi, it will pass through
Loyang, Pasir Ris, Hougang, Ang Mo Kio, before reaching Sin Ming.
Continuing westwards, it will serve areas such as Bukit Timah,
Clementi, West Coast, and terminate at Jurong Industrial Estate.
Approximately 50 kilometres in length, which is about the entire
width of Singapore, the Cross Island Line is targeted to be
completed by around 2030. As another alternative to east-west
travel, the CRL would relieve the load on existing lines such as
the East-West Line and North East Line, bringing more options to
all commuters and significantly shorter journey times. The
eastern leg of the CRL will also include a segment that extends
into the centre of Punggol. Residents in Punggol will be able to
travel to Pasir Ris - a popular and much demanded travel route -
in only 10 to 15 minutes, compared to a 40-minute bus journey
today. 
12    The approximately 20-kilometre Jurong Region Line (JRL)
will provide greater connectivity to areas such as Jurong West,
Jurong Industrial District, West Coast, Choa Chu Kang and new
developments in Tengah. It will connect these areas to main
activity nodes in Boon Lay, Jurong East and the future Jurong
Gateway. Opening by around 2025, the JRL will serve a diverse
range of commuters, including students from the Nanyang
Technological University (NTU), workers in Jurong Industrial
Estate, including those working on Jurong Island, and residents
in the West. Commuters from the North will also be able to
bypass Jurong East and enter the Jurong region directly via the
JRL. This will not only shorten their travel times, but also
redistribute ridership out of the heavily-used Jurong East
Interchange Station. 
New extensions to the Circle Line, North East Line and Downtown
Line 
13    In addition, we will build extensions to the Circle Line,
the North East Line and the Downtown Line. First, we will close
the gap in our Circle Line, linking HarbourFront to Marina Bay
Station with Circle Line Stage 6 (CCL6) by around 2025. CCL6
will provide another avenue for commuters in the west to travel
directly to the CBD. With the new stations on the CCL6 and
Thomson Line, we estimate that more than 90% of buildings in the
CBD will be within 400 metres of an MRT station by around 2025.
Finally, transfers to other rail lines via the Circle Line will
also be much shorter. For instance, a commuter going from Kent
Ridge to Marina Bay today has to make two MRT transfers via
three lines. With the closed loop of the Circle Line, he can
reach his destination in a single train ride, and enjoy about 15
minutes of time savings. 
14    Second, we will extend DTL3. This will connect the
Downtown Line, East-West Line and Eastern Region Line. It will
provide more travel options and better connectivity for
residents and those working in the eastern corridor. More
critically, this extension strengthens the resilience of our
rail network, as commuters can more easily re-route themselves
in the event of a disruption. 
15    Third, we will extend the North East Line by one more
station to serve Punggol North. It will be built in tandem with
the developments there, so that future residents in Punggol
North will have train access to the city centre as well as other
parts of Singapore. This will make Punggol North an even more
attractive location to stay and work, which is part of the
Government’s overall de-centralisation strategy. 
16    Finally, we are studying the feasibility of adding a new
station on the North-South Line in between Yishun and Sembawang,
in anticipation of future developments in the area. 
Doubling our rail network to 360 kilometres by 2030 
17    Together with the existing and committed rail lines, we
expect that by 2030, we would have developed a very
comprehensive rail network. When the new projects are completed,
the size of our rail network will double from 178 kilometres
today, to about 360 kilometres in 2030, which will give us a
rail length that is higher than Tokyo or Hong Kong today, and
comparable to New York City. Many more households will be served
by the rail network, and about 8 in 10 households will then be
within a 10-minute walk of a train station. 
Conclusion 
18    Let me conclude. Our vision for land transport in the
coming years is to have “more connections”, “better service”,
and to support “an inclusive, liveable community”. We will
invest heavily to achieve this. We will do our best to provide
Singaporeans with a much better travel experience, and in doing
so, contribute to a better quality of life for all of us. I hope
Singaporeans will continue to support us and work with us as we
strive towards this vision. I understand the occasional
frustrations of commuters, and I give you my assurance that my
team and I are putting in maximum effort to resolve them. The
improvements in rail infrastructure will support Singapore’s
long-term development and ensure that the rail network will have
more than the capacity needed to meet the expected increase in
public transport ridership in the next two decades. We may not
be able to effect all the improvements overnight, and so I ask
that you bear with us in the process, but surely, over the next
few years, in particular when the new rail lines and new trains
come into operation, Singaporeans will feel a marked difference. 
19    Thank you.
Contacts 
Name     Jane Chan
Tel     6375 7881
Other
Email jane_chan@mot.gov.sg 
#<788327.206239.3.4.0.0.76>#
 
 
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