Jurong Region Line to open from 2026 in three phases
It will serve estates such as Tengah & make NTU more accessible when completed
The 24-station Jurong Region Line (JRL) will open from 2026, ramping up transport connectivity in Jurong as it is transformed into a home for new towns, a second Central Business District (CBD) and an innovation district.
The 24km above-ground line will also serve residents in the Choa Chu Kang, Boon Lay and future Tengah estates, boosting accessibility to schools, industrial areas and Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
The medium-capacity JRL will use smaller train cars, which can carry between 150 and 200 commuters, compared to cars on other MRT lines, which have a capacity of more than 200.
While JRL trains will have three cars each, a fourth car can be coupled to increase capacity.
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, who unveiled the JRL's alignment yesterday, said the line "marks a quantum leap" in the development of Jurong's transport infrastructure.
During a visit to the site of the North-South Line's future Canberra station, Mr Khaw said the JRL will improve the resilience of the MRT network.
He said the JRL's interchange stations at Choa Chu Kang (North-South Line) and Boon Lay (East-West Line) will offer commuters other travel routes, redistributing and relieving train loading between Choa Chu Kang and Jurong East stations.
The JRL has a third interchange station at Jurong East, which links to the East-West and North-South Lines.
A commuter going from Choa Chu Kang to NTU will save 25 minutes with the JRL.
The JRL system is designed with a headway, or train interval, of 90 seconds. The authorities plan to run trains at intervals of between two and three minutes at the start.
The JRL's opening also dovetails with that of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail in Jurong, which is targeted to be ready by 2026.
Construction for the JRL is expected to start early next year.
The first phase, to open in 2026, will be the JRL (West) segment linking Choa Chu Kang to Boon Lay and Tawas.
The second phase, to open in 2027, will be the JRL (East) segment, connecting Tengah and Pandan Reservoir. The final phase in 2028 will see the line extending further into the west to NTU and Jurong Pier in the south.
Yesterday, Mr Khaw also said the Canberra station - between Yishun and Sembawang - will open by December next year.
Residents look forward to better connectivity
The announcement of the new Jurong Region Line (JRL), which will serve residents in Choa Chu Kang, Boon Lay, Jurong and the future Tengah development, is a long-awaited one for many.
"I was starting to feel like we were forgotten," said Ms Kang Zi Xin, 21, a student who lives at Block 920 in Jurong West, a short distance away from the future Nanyang Gateway MRT station.
It currently takes the Republic Polytechnic student 90 minutes to get to her school in Woodlands.
The JRL is expected to serve more than 200,000 commuters in its initial years. The 24km line will also connect upcoming areas such as the Jurong Innovation District.
Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) president, Professor Subra Suresh, told The Straits Times: "This is certainly a welcome development for students, employees, alumni and visitors.
"The new MRT line will play an important role in Singapore's vision for Jurong, including the development of the Jurong Innovation District, in which NTU will be a key player."
The sentiment among residents in these areas is that getting around Singapore will be made a lot easier.
Many often have to take long bus rides to the closest MRT stations.
Ms Seah Lay Khim, 59, who lives in Choa Chu Kang West, often has to wait 20 minutes for her bus to Choa Chu Kang MRT station.
"There are just too few buses in this area," the retiree said. "Just getting to the Choa Chu Kang station can take up to half an hour."
West Coast GRC MP Foo Mee Har said the Pandan Reservoir station will benefit residents in her Ayer Rajah ward.
"We will just be a hop, or two stations away, from Jurong East," she said. "They can connect to the North-South Line and East-West Line, as well as use the JRL to connect to the Jurong West industrial area and Jurong Island."
As parts of the JRL will extend into existing residential areas, Jurong GRC MP Ang Wei Neng hopes that barriers will be erected at construction sites to keep noise to a bearable level.
"Sound barriers should also be erected on the MRT viaducts to minimise the noise from trains passing by, right from the start," Mr Ang added.