Stations buzzing on first day of operations for third stage of Thomson-East Coast Line
Stations buzzing on first day of operations for third stage of Thomson-East Coast Line. The Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL), Singapore’s newest MRT line, opened for passenger service on Sunday, bringing hordes of people who took photos of the trains and stops.
Families, retirees, and fitness fanatics were among the commuters on their way to a morning workout. Mr Jacky Zhu, 40, his wife, and his three to eight-year-old children were eager to board the train on the first day of official operations. At 9 a.m., the family boarded the MRT at Great World station on their way to Gardens by the Bay. “I was curious how long my daily commute to my office in Marina Bay would take,” said the software engineer for a fintech firm.
Stevens, Napier, Orchard Boulevard, Orchard, Great World, Havelock, Outram Park, Maxwell, Shenton Way, Marina Bay, and Gardens by the Bay are among the 11 new stations that opened on Sunday. On Friday, commuters got a sneak peek at the route, with free rides provided along the 11 new stops but no connections to existing MRT lines. According to the Land Transport Authority, 500,000 people arrived that day. The Downtown Line is served by the Stevens and Orchard TEL stations, the East-West and North East lines by Outram Park, and the Circle and North-South lines by Marina Bay.
At 9 a.m., Mr Dylan Tan, 31, boarded a train from Havelock station. to meet his friends at Beauty World station for a morning hike through the newly opened Rifle Range Nature Park. Mr Tan, a bank relationship manager who enjoys hiking on weekends, estimated that taking public transportation from his home in Tiong Bahru to the Rail Corridor would take 45 minutes. He claims that because he no longer has to take a bus to Newton station before changing to the Downtown Line, his commute has been cut down to 20 minutes.
The first stage of the TEL, consisting of three stations, will open in January 2020. The line will connect Woodlands North station to the city center and Gardens by the Bay with the official opening of its third stage on Sunday. Ten more stations will open in two stages by 2025, stretching from the Founders’ Memorial in Marina East to Sungei Bedok.
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