Cross Island Line Phase 2: Excitement over new rail option, but concerns over details and impact

SINGAPORE — Residents and businesses near Phase 2 of the Cross Island Line (CRL) are happy to have a new transportation option in the future, but are concerned about issues such as the location of new stations and construction-related traffic jams.

Although it will only be ready in 10 years, Mr Mark Yeow is among those eagerly awaiting the opening of all six stations along the 15km rail section in 2032.

The West Coast resident, 32, lamented the relative lack of public transport connectivity near his home at Clementi West Street 2.

The marketing consultant, who uses bus, train and car-sharing services, said one evening in March that a 15-minute drive from Commonwealth took him nearly an hour because he couldn’t find a vehicle or direct route by public transport.

He eventually returned home via a combination of train and bus.

Plans for the second phase of the CRL were announced by Transport Minister S. Iswaran on Tuesday. He said this will provide better access to public transport in western areas, such as the West Coast, and improve connectivity between the eastern, western and northeastern parts of Singapore.

This rail section includes interchanges with the Downtown Line at King Albert Park and the East-West Line at Clementi Station.

The other four stations are Turf City, Maju, West Coast and Jurong Lake District.

Construction of the second phase of the CRLs is expected to begin in 2023. When completed, it will benefit 40,000 households within 800m of the six stations.

Mr. James Kong, another west coast resident, said 10 years is a long time for him to wait for a new MRT station.

But the 72-year-old pensioner expects his grandchildren, who live with him, to reap the rewards as it will be easier for them to get to school.

The upcoming Maju station will serve three higher education institutions currently without rail access: SIM Global Education, Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) and Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

Associate Professor Lim Lee Ching, Dean of SR Nathan School of Human Development at SUSS, said having an MRT station right next to the school would improve accessibility for staff and students.

It could also reduce traffic congestion in the area, Professor Lim added, noting that a large majority of SUSS and SIM students attend evening classes and that some teachers let students leave early or stagger departure times so that they can avoid traffic jams outside the school.

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