Wednesday, July 16, 2008

12 MRT Stations For Bukit Timah By 2015

Source : The Straits Times, July 16, 2008

180,000 rides expected on the underground line

A DOZEN new MRT stations will come up in the Bukit Timah area as part of Stage 2 of the Downtown Line.

They will serve several schools such as Singapore Chinese Girls' School, National Junior College, Hwa Chong Institution, Nanyang Girls' High, Raffles Girls' Primary, and Assumption English School.

This phase, to be completed by 2015, will give Bukit Timah residents access to trains for the first time. They are now served only by buses.

The stations will also serve the Toh Yi and Bukit Panjang Housing Board estates, and take commuters to shopping malls such as Serene Centre, Beauty World and Ten Mile Junction.

The Downtown Line is being built in three stages and will have 40 stations, with trains running from the north-western and eastern areas of Singapore to the Central Business District and Marina Bay.

Stage 2 will intersect other MRT lines at Little India, Newton and the Botanic Gardens.

Details of this phase were announced yesterday. This section spans 16.6km, from Rochor in the south to Bukit Panjang in the north.

Taking the train is expected to shave travelling time from Bukit Panjang to Marina Bay by almost half an hour.

Major construction on the line is expected to start in the middle of next year, and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said very little land acquisition will be needed.

LTA deputy chief executive Lim Bok Ngam said builders will face new challenges.

For one thing, the area's rocky soil, unlike the marine clay encountered in most previous lines, is hard, so tunnel boring will be slower.

The all-underground line will also go under the Rochor Canal, which will have to be diverted during construction.

The line is expected to be well used, said LTA chief executive Yam Ah Mee. He expects it to account for 180,000 rides a day - more than a third of the $12billion Downtown Line's anticipated total ridership of 500,000.

Besides giving Bukit Timah residents quicker access to the city, the line will bring another benefit: The values of their properties are expected to rise.

Jones Lang LaSalle's head of research (South-east Asia) Chua Yang Liang said: 'Typically, properties within walking distance of MRT stations would see an enhancement in value.'

But Mr Nicholas Mak, director of research and consultancy at Knight Frank, said the completion date is a long way off. In that time, 'the economy and financial market will have a stronger effect on property prices'.

Stage 1 of the Downtown Line is a 4.3km stretch with six stations. It will be completed in 2013. Stage 3, spanning 19.1km with 15 stops, will be ready by 2016.

When the line is completed, a commuter can travel from Bukit Panjang to Tampines in 65 minutes.

1 comment:

Richard Yeo said...

LTA rejects MPs' idea of moving MRT's Petir station

By Maria Almenoar

MOVE one of the Downtown Line's stations nearer the existing Bukit Panjang LRT and bus interchange?

It cannot be done because of technical constraints, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has said.

It was responding to Members of Parliament who had asked for Petir, the last of the Downtown Line's 12 stations, to be relocated closer to the Bukit Panjang LRT line.

As it stands, Petir is about 120m away.

The MPs had argued that integrating the Downtown Line with Bukit Panjang's LRT system and bus interchange would make more convenient for commuters needing to make connections to the main train system.

The LTA has explained that it comes down to how much a railway track can curve.

'The railway alignment is not able to swing sharply to meet Bukit Panjang LRT station and yet be able to run to Woodlands Road within such a short distance,' it said in an e-mail reply.

It added, however, that it would build a covered linkway between Petir and Bukit Panjang LRT station, and hinted at 'future developments' on a reserve site between the two stations.

The concern over the placement of the Petir station appeared to be the only one following Monday's unveiling of the 12 stops on Stage 2 of the Downtown Line, expected to open in 2015.