Singapore’s comprehensive MRT network makes getting around the island a breeze. It is also one of the reasons why it’s fine not to own a car in the country.
The Circle Line MRT is the fourth MRT line in Singapore, and service commenced on 28 May 2009.
Overview of the Circle Line
Like its name implies, the Circle Line is an orbital circle route that covers many parts of central Singapore. It also links all radial routes which lead into the city. All in all, the Circle Line MRT has 30 MRT stations and is 35.5km in length.
Similar to the North-East Line, all of the Circle Line’s stations are underground. Furthermore, the line is fully automated and does not require drivers. This placed it among the world’s longest driverless transit lines. If you were to travel end to end on the Circle Line, it would take about an hour.
With the Circle Line, travel time between the northern, western and eastern parts of Singapore has been made shorter. Since the line bypasses busy interchanges like City Hall and Raffles Place, commuters do not need to deal with the crowds at those stations.
The history of the Circle Line
Planning for the Circle Line began back in the 1980s. First named as the Marina Line in May 1998, it was planned to be a 12-station underground line. It would start from Chinatown and Dhoby Ghaut, and pass through National Stadium, ending at either Kallang or Paya Lebar MRT stations. The Chinatown leg was later shortened and reduced to six stations up till Stadium MRT station, while an extension towards Upper Paya Lebar was added in 2000.
Construction for Stage 1 began on 13 March 2002, while Stage 2 began on 5 September 2002. In May 2003, Stage 3 commenced, with construction for Stage 4 and 5 beginning later in January 2005.
Circle Line Stages 3 and 4 were formed by merging the Marina line with an LRT line that originally went from Paya Lebar to Buona Vista via Serangoon/Bishan. Stage 5 was subsequently completed when the line was extended from Buona Vista to Harbourfront.
The line was meant to be opened in stages starting from 2006 to 2010. However, a tunnel collapse along Nicoll Highway led to the opening of Stage 1 being delayed to May 2009.
Closing the Circle
On 17 January 2017, Stage 6 of the Circle Line was announced by the Land Transport Authority (LTA). This extension runs between Marina Bay and Harbourfront, and is about 4km long. It will also expand the network to the southern edge of the Central Business District (CBD). Commuters will be able to reach the CBD in one direct train ride from areas in the west, such as Pasir Panjang and Kent Ridge.
The new stations derived their names from their proximity to nearby landmarks, and are named Keppel, Cantonment, and Prince Edward Road. Construction for these stations would commence later in that same year, and they are expected to be completed by 2025.
Cantonment MRT station, in particular, will be integrated into the old Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, which has been gazetted as a national monument. Since the station box is underneath the old railway, parts of the railway will need to be dismantled. When the MRT station is completed, there are plans for the dismantled sections to be repaired and reinstated.
Connectivity to the Downtown Line
The Circle Line’s new extension will support multiple developments in the future – one such development is the Greater Southern Waterfront project. It is a 1,000-hectare parcel of coastal land, and will see mixed-use developments to introduce a bigger live-in population.
If you are interested in living near the project, properties like Reflections at Keppel Bay and the Caribbean might suit you.
For those nearer to the heartlands, the Circle Line also connects commuters to Bishan. The station is linked directly to Junction 8 shopping mall, which has many dining and shopping options for residents.
Considering staying in Bishan? Sky Habitat is less than five minutes’ walk from Junction 8 and the MRT station, which makes it a very convenient place to live.
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