Circle line to become a full loop in 2025
The Circle Line (CCL) will finally be true to its name in 2025, when a 4km rail stretch with three new stations - Keppel, Cantonment and Prince Edward - is completed.
This sixth stage of the CCL will link up existing terminal stations HarbourFront and Marina Bay, offering commuters direct routes to the city and Marina Bay area.
For example, a trip from Telok Blangah to Marina Bay requires two transfers - from the CCL to the North East Line to the North-South Line.
With the completion of the extension, a commuter can reach his destination in a single train ride and cut travelling time by a third, about 10min.
The additional stations will also expand the rail network to areas such as Prince Edward, Everton Park and the southern edge of the city.
Senior Minister of State for Transport Ng Chee Meng, who unveiled the new stations, said yesterday: "(The) CCL6 will support direct East-West travel, enhancing overall connectivity between areas such as Paya Lebar and Mountbatten, and areas such as Pasir Panjang, Kent Ridge and HarbourFront."
He added that the extension will enhance the CCL's role as an orbital line, allowing commuters to transfer between MRT lines without entering the city centre.
This extension will cost $3.7 billion, and construction is expected to start in the middle of 2017. Over 400,000 commuters use the line daily and LTA expects ridership to grow further, though it did not provide a projection.
The extension will also support future developments, such as the Greater Southern Waterfront project, a 1,000ha slice of costal land which will be freed up from the relocation of ports from Pasir Panjang and Tanjong Pagar to Tuas by 2027.
The Keppel station will provide commuters access to the area, along with the current Keppel Distripark.
Meanwhile, the Cantonment station will be near the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and offer access to the Spottiswoode Park Estate and Cantonment Towers.
It will be beneath a section of track platforms of the old station and LTA said it will work to see how the platforms can be preserved.
Meanwhile, the Prince Edward station will be near Palmer Road, where heritage landmarks such as the Hock Teck See Temple and the Haji Muhammad Salleh Mosque are.
To cater to the construction, four-part lots of private land - including open areas, container-stacking lots and driveways - will be acquired. The combined land space gazetted is 7,721.6 sq m.
One is a 648.6 sq m plot in the Tanjong Pagar Distripark that is currently a driveway and carpark for Bougainvillea Realty.
The firm is a holding company under Mapletree Investments, whose spokesman said it will need time to evaluate the impact and will work with authorities to facilitate the acquisition.
Commuters interviewed were looking forward to the full loop once it opens.
Public relations executive Eugene Chuang, 25, who lives along Dunearn Road, said that instead of taking an hour-long bus journey on service 171 to Marina Bay, he can now take the CCL from Botanic Gardens station.
"I estimate the journey will take no longer than 40 minutes, since going from Botanic Gardens to HarbourFront currently takes 25min and it's just three stations and 4km more," he said.