SINGAPORE — The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is studying the possibility of extending the Jurong Region Line (JRL) to connect it with the Circle Line (CCL), Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew revealed today (Aug 25).
If the plan for this West Coast Extension is found to be feasible, the additional stations could be built in the West Coast and Pasir Panjang areas.
Mr Lui said the potential connection to the CCL would improve rail connectivity between the western parts of Singapore and the city centre, as well as support future developments in the west.
The minister did not specify how many extra stations could be built, but the possible link to CCL could be completed by 2030, five years after the original plans for JRL are completed. The 20km-long JRL is still being planned.
Mr Lui was speaking to the media during a visit to Clementi MRT Station, where two new sheltered pedestrian link bridges to nearby Housing and Development Board blocks were opened. The upgrades to improve access at this and two other MRT stations — Commonwealth and Queenstown — were announced in July last year. The new link bridges at the latter two stations opened last Sunday.
Today, the LTA said it was looking to carry out works at 16 other MRT stations to improve passenger flow. These include adjusting station furniture to create more platform space, building new lifts as well as adding weatherproof facilities such as sheltered drop-off bays. The authority said details on which stations would be upgraded will be announced later.
Transport experts said connecting the JRL and CCL would make sense, given the upcoming developments in the western region of Singapore.
“Jurong is widely known as a developing secondary business hub in Singapore,” said assistant professor Walter Theseira, an economist at Nanyang Technological University. “Plans for a possible extension are important, as without this it is hard to support economic growth and harder to convince more people and business to move there.”
Using the connectivity of MRT lines in the central business district as a basis for comparison, the economist added that Jurong’s transformation into a successful business hub would require a similarly dense network of stations in the suburban area as well.
Dr Park Byung-joon, adjunct professor of urban transport management at SIM University, added that extending the JRL would be “a good feeder service to the other trunk MRT lines, as people living in the west will have a more convenient connection to the different lines”.