CONSTRUCTION of a fourth metro line in Singapore will get under way in 2000, following a government decision in June to push ahead with the 13 km Marina line to serve the New Downtown area taking shape on reclaimed land around Marina Bay. First proposed as a light rail line or peoplemover, it will now be mostly underground and use ’medium capacity driverless trains’ according to Communications Minister Mah Bow Tan. There will be 20 stations.

Costed at S$1·75bn, the line will help to stimulate development along Marina Boulevard, and revitalise the flagging local economy. Speaking at a signing ceremony for 13 contracts for the North East line, Mah said initiating work on the Marina line now will allow the government to benefit from competitive prices in the depressed construction industry.

The route will start from People’s Park on the North East Line and loop around Marina Bay before heading back under the north of the city centre to the interchange at Dhoby Ghaut. A branch would connect to the MRT East line at Kallang or Paya Lebar. The line is expected to carry around 20000 passengers/h, compared to 30000 on the MRT routes. Trains would initially be formed of four cars, but with scope to extend to six at a later date.

  • Land Transport Authority is seeking consultants to help develop an optimal model for Singapore’s public transport industry over the next 10 to 15 years. o