The MRT is starting to become more and more dependable, the network managing to record more than double the distance it covered during the same period last year, before having to deal with delay within the first 5 months of the current year. Ng Chee Meng, who is the Second Minister for Transport, stated these days that the numbers indicate a good progress of the network. If from January from May 2016, the network covered only 168,000 train-km, this year, during the same months, it recorded 387,000 train-km. This statement was made at the Tuas Link MRT station, with the occasion of inaugural ceremony of the new Tuas West Extension, Ng Chee Meng saying that SBST and SMRT worked hard as operators and managed to make considerable progresses. He also reminded the fact that the future project of the Jurong Region Line is also enjoying progresses, the line being programmed to be completed in 2025.
The construction of the depot for the Jurong Region Line is already in preparations, as the site in Tengah is being prepared for the process that should start in 2019. This new MRT line will connect the Jurong Lake District with the Jurong Innovation District, facilitating the transportation between these two regions. Together with the Cross Island Line, which will connect Jurong and Changi, being expected for completion in 2030, the Jurong Region Line is seen as the best solution to allow people living on the west of the island to reach the rest of Singapore. Both of these lines will be made with the purpose of making west Singapore become more connected with the island, when it comes to transport, and allow people to reach their destinations easier, regardless in which corner of the island they live. This underlines, once again, just how important the MRT network is for Singapore’s residents, being considered the backbone of public transportation.
The people who were present at the inauguration of the Tuas West Extension had the chance to enjoy a sneak preview at the 4 brand new stations, before they got officially launched. These 4 stations will be called Tuas Link, Tuas Crescent, Gul Circle, and Tuas West Road. One of the visitors, Mr K. Thirumurugan, who was present at the event with his wife and the family’s two children, stated that he found the Tuas station remote. Although he does not work in the area, he had the occasion to travel to Tuas for job interviews, an experience that have him this feeling. He sees the new MRT extension as a more convenient manner to get into this area of Singapore, being better connected to other areas. The new extension in the west of Tuas has 7.5 km and it is expected to be used by 100,000 commuters on a daily basis. Although it was expected to be launched at the end of the past year, this moment was postponed for the testing and fine tuning of the station’s signaling system. This is a new communication-based system, not like the old fixed-block signaling system that is used by the East-West Line. Thus, due to the differences between these two signaling systems, trains will have to stop in the Pioneer Station for 2 minutes in order to pass from one system to the other, before continuing on their route.
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