Artist’s impression of the open public spaces at Punggol Coast MRT station. (Image source: LTA)
The completion date for the North East Line Extension has been brought forward to 2023 from its initial schedule of 2030, announced the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Wednesday (7 June).
The move is aimed at supporting developments in Punggol North, which include “new residential estates at Northshore District and Punggol Point District, as well as the Punggol Digital District, Singapore’s pilot Enterprise District comprising JTC Corporation’s mixed-use developments, and the Singapore Institute of Technology’s new campus”.
Including five interchange stations, the new Punggol Coast MRT station will take the total number of stations on the North-East Line to 17.
The 1.6km line will also reduce travel time from Punggol North to the city centre and other parts of Singapore by up to 15 minutes.
“This is part of our overall master plan … Punggol Town is growing very rapidly and bringing this MRT station forward will benefit residents in Punggol Town,” Second Transport Minister Ng Chee Meng was quoted as saying by TODAYonline during a visit to Boon Lay MRT station.
Meanwhile, the LTA revealed that for the first time, it adopted the use of design thinking in conceptualising the Punggol Coast station. This saw the agency conducting studies and prototype concepts aimed at improving commuting experience, before incorporating certain features into the station’s design.
“For instance, the Punggol Coast station will have more open public spaces as the commuters we surveyed told the LTA that they would like more space at stations for interaction and meet-ups, rather than using the station merely as a means to get from point to point,” it said.
It will also “explore a concept called ‘Delightful Moments’ in the station where the community, including students, will have a dedicated space to showcase exhibits such as their school projects”.
Tenders for the construction of the extension will be called this month, with construction works expected to start in the first half of 2018, the LTA said.