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     FrontPage Edition: Thu 8 March 2007

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Expanding our MRT Network




An Excerpt

Expanding our Rail Network
We have set ourselves a target of raising the public transport share of all morning peak hour trips from the current 63% to at least 70% by 2020.
To achieve this, it is important that we increase the density of our rail network.
In most major cities that have a high public transport modal share such as London, New York and Tokyo, the rail network ¨C density and frequency ¨C plays a critical role as it is the most competitive alternative to the car, in terms of speed, reliability and comfort.
We see this too in Singapore. Commuters surveyed in LTA¡¯s 2006 Public Transport Customer Satisfaction Survey gave the thumbs-up for the MRT. 94% of users surveyed were satisfied with MRT services.
It scored well in critical attributes such as travel time (94% were satisfied), reliability (93%) and station accessibility (93%).
Looking ahead, and this is in answer to Liang Eng Hwa, expanding our MRT network is a key plank of our strategy to improve public transport journey times, to close the gap with private transport.
So what can Singaporeans look forward to?
The Circle Line will open from 2010 onwards, improving connectivity and reducing travel times. From Bishan to Peya Lebar, 30 minutes now.
When the Circle Line is up and running, 17 minutes. For Bishan residents, an exciting night out at Holland Village will be less than 20 minutes away, while a lovely evening stroll at the Botanic Gardens is just two stops away from Bishan Station.
The Circle Line will also help to spice up our city life by connecting people and places. For example, sports fans will be glad to know that after watching their favourite football team at the new Sports Hub, they can if they wish to do so take a train ride from the Stadium Station to Mountbatten Station to have supper at Old Airport Road.
Beyond this, the LTA is completing its feasibility studies for a new 33-station Downtown Line that will link the eastern and north western corridors to the Marina Bay.
When the Downtown Line is up, residents in Bukit Panjang, Bukit Timah, Bedok Reservoir and Macpherson can take the train to see the bright lights of the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort.
A trip from Bukit Panjang to the city centre that now takes 60 minutes will be shortened by one-third. A resident in the Bedok Reservoir area will no longer need to take a feeder bus to Bedok Central to catch a train into the CBD. The Downtown Line will connect his home in the heartlands directly to the Marina Bay.
Beyond the Downtown Line, we are identifying other possible rail lines and extensions required to support Singapore¡¯s development to 2020 and beyond.
As part of our long-term planning for a future Singapore of 6.5 million population, we expect that we will need to at least double our current rail network of 138 km for a 50% increase in population. That means putting in the equivalent of at least 7 North-east Lines.
Our expansion plans will bring the MRT to areas that are currently not well-served, enhance connectivity, reduce travel time, and relieve congestion on heavily-used MRT routes.

Full Text of Speech

Source: Media Release Mar 2007

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