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The Downtown Line – Good News For City Commuters

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The world’s cities are getting more crowded. If you live in Singapore, you will know that the city is, without doubt, getting busier. And as the population rises, so does the pressure on busy roads, leading to concerns over traffic safety, congestion and air quality (just for starters).

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states in a sobering report that,

“About 1.24 million people die each year on the world's roads and between 20 and 50 million sustain non-fatal injuries. Young adults aged between 15 and 44 years account for 59% of global road traffic deaths.” 10 Facts on Global Road Safety, WHO

Singapore’s Government may also have taken note of research from the World Resources Institute (WRI) showing that well-designed mass transport systems are many times safer than private cars, the typical method of travel in so many sprawling cities.

“For example, in Guadalajara, 99% of traffic accidents involve private vehicles. Only 1% of crashes occur along the Macrobus bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor.” innovations.harvard.edu

According to tripadvisor.com, Singapore’s MRT system is renowned to be “very simple and very safe.”  Speaking at the opening of the first stage of the brand new Downtown line, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong re-affirmed the Government’s commitment to double the rail network to 360km by 2030.

“He noted that the Government is continuing to invest in public transport infrastructure to make Singapore a better home and raise the quality of life. In the immediate term, 16 new bus routes and 111 existing bus services have been improved through the ongoing Bus Service Enhancement Programme, he said.” Royston Sim, Straits Times, December 2013

The first stage of the Downtown line consists of Bugis, Promenade, Bayfront, Downtown, Telok Ayer and Chinatown, a valuable 4.3km of rail aimed at easing congestion at interchange stations like Dhoby Ghaut and Raffles Place.

More Trains For Singapore’s Commuters

The Downtown line is the third in Singapore to be built almost entirely underground. When fully complete, the line will stretch 42 km, house 34 stations and serve more than half a million commuters daily. It will also be the longest driverless rapid transit line in Singapore,surpassing the record set by the Circle Line. Travelling from one end to the other will take about 65 minutes. The line is coloured blue on the rail map.

The Downtown line is the fifth Mass Rapid Transit line in Singapore and will connect the North-Western and Central-Eastern regions to the new downtown of Singapore. It will also help to achieve Land Transport Authority’s vision for commuters within the Central Area to be able to access an MRT station within a five minute walk, on average.

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