11 more Thomson-East Coast Line MRT stations to open this year
Another 11 Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) MRT stations will begin operating in the second half of this year, running from Stevens through Orchard and Outram Park to Gardens by the Bay.
Transport Minister S. Iswaran gave this update on stage three of the TEL during the debate on his ministry's spending plans on Wednesday (March 9), assuring MPs that the expansion of the MRT network is proceeding apace despite the disruptions wrought by Covid-19.
The new stations will give commuters access to areas such as Great World, Maxwell and Shenton Way.
TEL stage three has 13 stations, but the authorities have previously said that two of them - Mount Pleasant and Marina South - will open only later, with the completion of public housing developments in the area.
The new stations will connect residents in the north directly to many destinations in the city and significantly shorten travel times, Mr Iswaran said.
"When TEL is fully opened over the next few years, more than 240,000 households will be within a 10-minute walk from a TEL station," he added.
Responding to MPs who asked for updates on upcoming rail lines, Mr Iswaran said the Jurong Region Line (JRL) will open in stages from 2027.
The JRL connects towns like Chua Chu Kang, Tengah and Jurong to Nanyang Technological University and the Jurong Innovation District in north-western Singapore.
He also said details of the second stage of the Cross Island Line (CRL) will be released later this year.
It will extend west from Bright Hill station to run through areas such as Turf City, Sunset Way, West Coast and the Jurong Lake District.
Stage one of the CRL comprises 12 stations, from Aviation Park to Bright Hill. The line also has a three-station extension from Elias in Pasir Ris to Punggol.
On Tuesday, Mr Ang Wei Neng (West Coast GRC) had asked if the Transport Ministry could give discounts to encourage more off-peak travel so that MRT and LRT networks can be more fully utilised outside of peak hours.
Mr Iswaran said his ministry will continue to work with employers and study various options to smoothen peak demand.
Today, commuters who tap-in at any MRT or LRT station before 7.45am on weekdays, excluding public holidays, already enjoy a discount of up to 50 cents.