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Singapore’s sixth rail line will start at Woodlands before heading towards the East Coast, and will have 31 stations spanning about 43km, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew announces. New stations include Marine Parade, Siglap and Tanjong Rhu.
The country’s sixth rail line – the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) – will be fully operational by 2024, the Land Transport Authority announced on Friday (Aug 15).
The previously-announced Eastern Region Line and the Thomson Line will be joined to form the single, continuous line, which will span about 43 kilometres with a total of 31 stations, seven of which will be interchanges.
Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew, speaking at a visit to the soon-to-open Marina South Pier Station on Friday, said that when fully operational in 2024, the TEL will serve about 500,000 commuters daily. This could rise to 1 million passengers daily in the longer term.
FROM THE NORTH TO THE EAST
The line will provide direct connectivity for commuters in the north and the east of Singapore – starting at Woodlands and heading south through the Central Business District, then turning east at Gardens by the Bay station and travelling along a East Coast stretch that will be fully underground.
One of the nine stations on this stretch will serve as an interchange with Downtown Line 3 Extension (DTL3e) – a 2.2km line consisting of two stations, meant to improve accessibility to the Changi Business Park and Expo areas.
The East Coast stretch will also cover areas not currently served by the rail network such as Siglap, Marine Parade, Upper East Coast and Bedok South. Seven of the stations, from Tanjong Rhu to Bayshore, will be ready by 2023, while remainder of the line, as well as the DTL3e, will be completed the year after.
Also scheduled for completion in 2024 is a new 36-hectare depot, touted by the LTA as “the world’s first four-in-one train and bus depot”. The new structure will be able to house a total of 220 trains for the TEL, DTL and East West Line, as well as 550 buses.
To build the line, the Government will need to require six land properties along Amber Road and one three-storey apartment along Tanjong Katong Road, as well as nine partial lots elsewhere. The Singapore Land Authority on Friday gazetted the properties affected by acquisition, and said it would work closely with landowners throughout the process.
CONVENIENCE A CONSIDERATION
The LTA said that with the TEL, someone going from the East Coast to Orchard MRT station will have his travel time cut by half an hour, from 75 minutes to 45 minutes. A Republic Polytechnic student will be able to travel to Marine Parade in an hour, 20 minutes faster than the current bus ride would take.
Also, stations along the TEL will see longer underpasses of up to 400m long, as part of efforts to improve “first and last mile connectivity”, particularly for the elderly and children, the LTA said. Four of the stations along the East Coast stretch will also see Singapore’s first underground bicycle parks.
Here’s a possible reason why the authorities are not inclined to remove any property cooling measures just yet: There was an across-the-board increase in caveats lodged for private home purchases in the second quarter compared to the previous quarter.
DTZ’s analysis of URA Realis caveats database shows a 37.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase in the total number of private homes transacted to 3,369 units in Q2.
A segmental breakdown showed that the number of units picked up in the resale market climbed nearly 41 per cent or 386 units to 1,328 units in Q2 from 942 units in Q1 – ending three consecutive quarters of decline.
New sales by developers too rose by 511 units or 36.8 per cent to 1,898 units. In the subsale market, 143 units changed hands in Q2, up 11.7 per cent from Q1.
Something unexpected has taken place in the second quarter of the year – Indonesians’ share of private home purchases here by permanent residents and foreigners sank to a fresh low.
So much so that Indians zoomed past to emerge as the third largest group of non-Singaporean buyers in the quarter. Indonesians came in fourth.
In absolute numbers, though, purchases by both nationalities increased quarter on quarter amid an across-the-board rise in private home transactions, according to a DTZ analysis of URA Realis caveats data.
In the April-June period, Indonesians bought 95 private homes, a 13.1 per cent rise from 84 a quarter earlier. This gave them an 11 per cent share of the 834 units acquired in Q2 by PRs and foreign buyers – the lowest recorded in the URA Realis database that dates back to Q1 1995.
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