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Thread: Five stops planned for first phase of Downtown MRT line

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    Thumbs up Five stops planned for first phase of Downtown MRT line

    March 15, 2007

    Five stops planned for first phase of Downtown MRT line

    By Christopher Tan, Senior Correspondent


    PLANS for a new MRT line serving the city centre are taking shape, with tenders called for the first phase of what will be the Downtown Line.

    This will be a 3.4km loop linking the Circle Line's Promenade station to Chinatown station on the North-East Line.

    Three other stops are planned - Bayfront station at the planned Marina Sands integrated resort; Landmark station, sitting between the new Marina Business Financial Centre and The Sail condominium; and Cross Street station, next to the PricewaterhouseCoopers building in Cross Street.

    Work has been parcelled into five tenders to design and build the stations and tunnels.

    Three will close by the end of next month, with the remaining two to be called later this year, said a Land Transport Authority spokesman.

    Estimated to cost $1.4 billion, the first phase of the Downtown Line is expected to be completed by 2012.

    Several phases will follow to complete the 40km 33-station network by around 2020.

    Although the alignment of the new line has not been finalised, The Straits Times understands that from Chinatown station, it will intersect the Circle Line, with interchanges likely at its Bras Basah and MacPherson stations.

    It will continue onwards, passing Kaki Bukit, Bedok and ending in Tampines. In future, it could branch off towards Telok Kurau and Marine Parade.

    Another leg of the Downtown Line heads north-west, starting at the Promenade station near Suntec City.

    It will intersect all existing MRT lines as well as the Circle Line, with possible interchanges at Bugis, Jalan Besar, Little India and Botanic Gardens.

    The line will run along the Bukit Timah corridor and end at the Bukit Panjang LRT system.

    Welcoming this expansion of the rail network, chairman of the Government Parliamentary for Transport, Mr Cedric Foo, said: 'More people will be attracted to take the train as the network becomes more comprehensive and better able to bring people from point to point across the island.'

    When the trains start rolling, rail ridership here is expected to surpass bus travel for the first time. Currently, trains cater to 1.4 million rides a day, compared with 2.8 million for buses.

    Said Associate Professor K. Raguraman, a transport researcher at the National University of Singapore: 'The added convenience, shorter travel times and reduced need for bus-rail transfers will certainly increase the attractiveness of public transport relative to the car.'

    [email protected]

    ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY T. RAJAN
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