SINGAPORE: The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is studying plans to connect the upcoming Jurong Region Line (JRL) with the Circle Line, announced Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew on Tuesday (Aug 25).
This will be through a new extension with possible new MRT stations in West Coast and Pasir Panjang, which is expected to be completed by 2030.
The extension connects the JRL with the Circle Line, possibly in the Haw Par Villa area. The JRL is expected to be completed by 2025 and its stations will be announced in two years' time, connecting to the main activity nodes in Jurong West. These include Nanyang Technological University, the Jurong Industrial estate, Jurong Island and the future Jurong Gateway.
Spanning 20 kilometres, the JRL will serve residents in areas like Choa Chu Kang and Boon Lay. Mr Lui said the new extension gives residents in the West more ways to get to the Central Business District, via the East West Line and the new JRL extension, and will make the overall MRT system more resilient.
"So (there will be) greater convenience, but also a certain additional resilience and redundancy to the overall network. As the network matures, as the density of the stations and the lines increases, we hope that there will be alternative pathways from origin point to destination point, and I think that is how we can increase the overall resilience in the network," he said.
Mr Lui was speaking after he and other Members of Parliament (MPs) presiding over areas in the West visited the official opening of two new link bridges at Clementi MRT station. Those present included West Coast GRC MPs Mr S Iswaran, Ms Foo Mee Har, Mr Arthur Fong, and MP for Holland-Bukit Timah Ms Sim Ann.
The move to connect the upcoming Jurong Region Line to the Circle Line has been welcomed by those in the area.
Said Ms Foo: "Currently, in our Western area, most of our residents have to take a feeder bus to connect to either Jurong East or Clementi. Now we have seen a big improvement with the Bus Service Enhancement programme, but with the Jurong Line in place, I am very sure these stations will be less crowded because the Western area will no longer need to come and transit here ... because the new line will have its own connection right to downtown."
A new link bridge at Clementi MRT station. (Photo: Kenneth Lim)
The link bridges are installed with two escalators and a lift each, and will provide additional entrances and exits to commuters.
New link bridges were also unveiled at Queenstown and Commonwealth MRT stations last Sunday.
"These stations were built to standards from more than 30 years ago and as we expand the developments around these stations, it is important that we provide more ingress and egress points," said Mr Lui.
Other planned improvements to the MRT system include creating more platform space by adjusting station furniture, as well as building new lifts and weatherproof facilities. More details are expected to be announced at a later date. The upgrading of facilities will take place in about 16 stations on the North-South and East-West Lines.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Office S Iswaran, who is defending his seat in West Coast GRC, was asked if these upgrading announcements would help in his team's election campaign.
He said: "I would not link this specifically to our campaign because this is something we have been working on the ground since the last election, and for some of us long before that. And this continues to be part and parcel of our work.
"But this is a particular area of need that our residents have conveyed to us time and again. So we are very happy that this development is now taking place and MOT has made the announcement."