ON DECEMBER 29 Singapore’s Land Transit Authority announced the go-ahead for a further extension of the island’s existing east-west metro line.

Serving the Jurong West town area and Tuas industrial estate, the 3·8 km Boon Lay Extension will be elevated throughout. There will be two new stations at Jurong West Street 63 and Joo Koon Circle.

Total cost of the project is put at S$436m. LTA expects to call tenders in the first half of this year and start construction during the second half. The extension is due to be completed in 2009.

January 29 was due to see the start of passenger services on the eastern loop of the Punggol LRT peoplemover and the western loop of the Sengkang LRT, which are both feeders to the metro’s North East Line. Trains will not serve two of the seven stations on the Punggol loop and three on the Sengkang loop until nearby housing developments have been completed.

SBS Transit Chief Operating Officer Ong Boon Leong said at the beginning of the month that he expected the Punggol line to carry between 3000 and 5000 passengers/day. Traffic on the NEL has risen from 170000 at opening to 190000, against a break-even target of 250000.