SINGAPORE: Accessibility to the rail network is set to be further improved with the extension of some lines and the development of new stations.
Among the proposals announced on Saturday (May 25) by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in its Land Transport Master Plan 2040 (LTMP 2040) is the addition of two new stations on the North-South Line (NSL).
Located between Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Gombak stations, the new Brickland station will benefit people living in Keat Hong, Bukit Batok West and Pavilion Park, as well the Brickland district in the upcoming Tengah town.
The NSL will also have a new interchange station at Sungei Kadut that will connect to the Downtown Line (DTL). LTA explained that this will be achieved by extending the DTL beyond Bukit Panjang station to serve Yew Tee and Choa Chu Kang.
LTA said that the new interchange station will be located between Yew Tee and Kranji stations, and that people living in the northwest can expect to cut up to 30 minutes from their journey time to the city area.
The Sungei Kadut interchange station will also serve future developments by JTC Corporation in the vicinity, such as the upcoming site for SMEs in the metal, machinery and timber industries, and the future Agri-Food Innovation Park.
Both Brickland station and the Sungei Kadut interchange station are expected to be opened by the mid-2030s, said the authority.
UPCOMING TERMINAL 5 AT CHANGI AIRPORT TO GET DEDICATED MRT STATION
Separately, LTA said it will extend the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL), with a station serving the upcoming mega Terminal 5 at Changi Airport.
LTA said the new link will connect to the stretch of rail network between Tanah Merah and Changi Airport on the East-West Line (EWL), which will be converted to form part of the TEL extension.
When fully completed, the extension will link Changi Airport to stations along the TEL up to Woodlands North, where commuters may be able to transfer to the future Singapore-Johor Bahru Rapid Transit System Link.
At present, the train to Changi Airport serves Terminals 1, 2 and 3. Passengers at Terminal 4 have to take a bus transfer.
LTA said that it will announce more details about the rail network expansions at a later date. However, it highlighted that the openings of the new stations will be in tandem with infrastructure developments.
MORE BARRIER-FREE ACCESS FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORT
At the same time, LTA said it will aim for Singapore's public transport to be barrier-free by 2040, as it works to make it easier for those with additional mobility needs, such as the elderly and persons with disabilities, to access public transport facilities.
LTA also noted that although all bus interchanges, integrated transport hubs and MRT stations have at least one barrier-free access route today, it "should and will do more" to improve barrier-free accessibility.
To that end, the authority said it is already trialling hands-free gates at selected MRT stations.
"If these are successful, more commuters with special needs can look forward to quick and easy travel without needing to tap at fare gates," it added.