Construction work has officially begun on two more MRT stations on the $24 billion Thomson-East Coast Line, which will connect residents living in the northern parts of Singapore directly to the city centre and the east.
It will bring schools, offices and amenities closer to their homes, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday, when he officiated at the ground-breaking ceremonies of Lentor and Mayflower stations. They are adjacent stops on the line and are located in Ang Mo Kio GRC, which Mr Lee represents in Parliament.
The 43km line will be opened in stages, with the last batch of stations slated to open in 2024. Both Lentor and Mayflower stations are expected to be ready in 2020. Work on Woodlands South and Springleaf stations has already started.
The sixth MRT line will “make public transport more convenient and attractive”, Mr Lee said yesterday morning.
By 2030, the rail network will double and eight in 10 households will be within a 10-minute walk from a train station, he said.
And with the Bus Service Enhancement Programme, 1,000 more buses will be plying the streets by 2016.
“I hope you can go out, leave your car at home… Leave your car at home a few more times, then you may decide you don’t need to have a car and you don’t need to have a COE after all,” he said to laughter at the Lentor event, which was also attended by Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Seng Han Thong.
Lentor station is located at Lentor Drive, near Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4.
With plans to develop the area around the station towards Teacher’s Estate, Lentor will be a vibrant place to live in by the time the station opens, said Mr Lee. “It demonstrates our determination to make Singapore a good home.”
The design of Mayflower station, which is in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4, is inspired by Kebun Baru’s active bird-singing club. The estate is home to a field that has room for more than 1,000 bird cages, where large crowds gather on Sundays. The station architecture, therefore, will be bird-themed, with images of songbirds and a lattice design inspired by bird cages.
MP Inderjit Singh, who oversees Kebun Baru, said residents are excited as the new station will significantly improve their ability to connect to the rail network.
It will also have seven exits. The ward, explained Mr Singh, “runs very long”, along swathes of Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 and Avenue 4, among others. And with 35 per cent of the estate’s residents being elderly, he hopes to provide exits closer to their homes.