SINGAPORE: Many commuters welcomed news of two new lines and extension of three MRT lines.
On Thursday morning, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew announced two new MRT lines will be built, while three existing lines will be extended.
The new lines are the Cross Island Line and Jurong Region Line.
Those heading to the west, such as to the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), find it most beneficial.
Victoria Lee, who is currently studying at NTU, said: "I live in Choa Chu Kang and I go to school to NTU so it takes about an hour journey."
Currently, students have to take a bus from the nearest MRT stations at either Pioneer or Boon Lay.
And on occasions such as the exam period, getting to school can be costly.
"It costs about $30 to go straight to school. It means a lot to a student. $30 is quite significant, said NTU student Marcus Tan who lives in Bishan.
He added: "The problem that we face is the rush hour — coming to school in the morning, leaving at 5pm when everyone is leaving work at the same time. Hopefully that will solve the problem."
The Cross Island Line is set to be ready in 2030, and the Jurong Region Line in 2025.
But the new lines may not come soon enough for some commuters.
"15 years later? I’m not even sure if I’ll still be around! But it’s good. It’s a good thing," said one commuter who wants to be known as only Mr Tan.
Ms Ash Maskell, who lives near NTU, said: "I find it a bit inconvenient. I don’t have a direct train, you got to catch a bus and come down all the way to Jurong Point so hopefully they do it. They should have done it 10 years ago."
Ms Lee said: "I think it’s still good because it’s still happening and we will benefit in the future but for now at least, we can look forward to something like that."
Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, who is Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, said Singapore has seen a change in the environment, the demographics, as well as the urban development over the years.
He said: "With this MRT, as well as the rail, it has been seen to be very good platform and also vehicle to transport people. It is only logical for us to extend and I’m happy that we’re looking at areas where it matters for Singaproeans."
The transport ministry said meanwhile, plans are in place to solve near—term problems.
Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said: "I understand the occasional frustrations of commuters especially with the problems that they face here and now, and I want to assure you that we have plans in place both in buses, as well as injection of rail capacity, to solve some of the near—term problems."
The ministry is working out details of the extension and new MRT lines.
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