Christopher Tan

The following are excerpts from a Straits Times analysis of the 954-page Cross-Island Line assessment report by Senior Transport Correspondent Christopher Tan. In it, he mooted the possibility of a third alignment further south, which would serve the future Bukit Brown estate.

Tan wrote: “Having one more line serving an area as sizeable as Bukit Brown is well within reason. Many areas in Singapore are served by two or more lines. For instance, Marina Bay has four lines and about half a dozen stations.”

In transport, efficiency here means more than having the shortest possible route between two points. It also means making a transport system accessible to as many people as possible so that its long-term benefits will outweigh its initial cost.

Going to the extreme to achieve either objective would not be viable. You end up with either a straight line, which invariably misses crucial passenger catchments, or a squiggle of a line which makes construction unwieldy and journeys inordinately long.

Christopher Tan, SENIOR TRANSPORT CORRESPONDENT, ST

In his piece, Tan also cited transportation analysts who were in favour of an alternative which would serve larger commuter populations:

“Neither option is very good”, and will now cost “a lot more money than before” because of all the environmental mitigation measures… having an alignment which will serve more commuters would be “a better and more sensible solution”.

Park Byung Joon, URBAN TRANSPORT EXPERT, SINGAPORE UNIVERSITY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES (SUSS)

An alternative alignment which hugs the perimeter of the nature reserve “would not have much demand… It doesn’t make sense for such a long line to serve no one in the middle.”

Bruno Wildermuth, VETERAN SWISS TrANSPORT EXPERT who helped build Singapore’s first MRT lines.

Original article