New MRT, LRT trains to increase capacity, reduce crowdedness
Forty-two new trains will be added to the North-East (SBS) and Circle Lines (SMRT) from next year.
Speaking during the Committee of Supply debate, Transport Ministry Lui Tuck Yew says this will increase the fleet size on the North-East Line by 60 per cent, and on the Circle Line by 70 per cent.
"What it will mean is that, in 2015, we can gradually look forward to more comfortable, less crowded rides, and shorter wait times for NEL and Circle Line commuters."
The new trains are part of overall plans to increase the capacity of the train and rail networks.
In addition, the first of 13 new train-cars for the Bukit Panjang LRT system will be deployed from the fourth quarter of this year.
Mr Lui says all 13 cars will be fully deployed by mid-2015 and increase the size of the Bukit Panjang LRT by about 70 per cent.
He adds that the Punggol West LRT will open in the middle of this year.
Mr Lui also says the government will double the length of the rail network by 2030, to some 360 kilometres.
This will be achieved by the addition of five new rail lines.
Mr Lui says some academics have observed that Singapore's MRT system does not have much redundancy, compared to cities like New York and London.
"And I agree with them. A denser network, with more interconnections, will provide more alternatives for commuters to explore in the event of a disruption. Well, the London Underground took about 150 years and the New York City Subway about 110 years to get to where they are today. And if our expansion goes according to plan, in about 15 years, our rail network density will be comparable."
He adds that, in 15 years time, there will be 280 train stations all over Singapore.
This means that 8 in 10 homes will be within a 10-minute walk to a rail station.
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