Site of North East Line extension to be new home for the Singapore Institute of Technology, bringing students, academia and digital jobs into the heart of Punggol
On March 10, Senior Minister of State for Transport, Dr Janil Puthucheary, said that the site of the North East Line extension will add more colour to the Punggol heartlands.
Announcing the Cross Island Line (CRL) Punggol Extension Gazette. Dr Puthucheary said, “We are here at the site of where we are extending the North East Line, from Punggol MRT out towards where the future Punggol Digital District is being built at the moment, by JTC.”
This he said, will not only create new jobs but much more importantly, it will be the new home for the Singapore Institute of Technology, bringing students, academia and digital jobs into the heart of Punggol.
Surrounding the North East Line extension, will be the new Northshore district, one of the most future-ready and smart districts being built by HDB. All of the people there – the residents, the students, the people working in the PDD – will benefit from the new MRT station that is going to be at the heart of the digital district, giving them access to what’s in the rest of Punggol, the amenities that are close to the town centre, but also quick access to the North East Line taking them all the way into the heart of Singapore.
Dr Puthucheary said his announcement was not just to mark that occasion, of the North East Line extenson site.
“We are here to mark the gazetting of the extension of the Cross Island Line that will link Punggol to Pasir Ris. This extension is not the main line; it is a spur, it is an extra branch and it will have four stations – starting in Punggol; and as you head out east, Riviera, on the eastern side of Punggol; Elias, on the western side of Pasir Ris; and then Pasir Ris station itself, four stations on the spur.”
He added, “Interestingly, three of these stations will be interchanges. So this extension will interface with the North East Line here in Punggol, the LRT system in Riviera, and also the East-West Line out in Pasir Ris, and will give our residents in Punggol a very quick way to get to all the wonderful things that are in Pasir Ris, including their hawker centre which we haven’t had yet. There are lots of good food there.”
“Today, it takes our residents about 40 to 45 minutes to get to Pasir Ris, and with this extension, we will cut that down to 20 minutes. We hope, of course, that the residents of Pasir Ris, once our Punggol Digital District is up and running, they will come and visit us as well and enjoy the sights and sounds of Coney Island, among many other things. The ability for us to connect people to where they work, where they want to enjoy themselves, live, work and play, is very important and the MRT system is what allows us to do this best across the whole of Singapore.
“The Cross Island Line, of which this extension is just part of, will be our eighth and fully underground line running across the entirety of Singapore. It will be our longest and will have a carrying capacity equivalent to the North East Line today. With the trains starting off with six, but the infrastructure can handle eight cabin trains, very high capacity. We are expecting that when it opens, the Cross Island Line will carry about 600,000 people a day, that is the same as what the North East Line is doing today. And that may well grow to about a million people a day.
“These types of investments – $60 billion over the next decade – is what we have to put in place to make sure that we have a MRT system that is effective, safe and reliable, and also serving as many residents as possible, to give them access to where they need to go – their work, their leisure, their family, their homes.”
In expressing that he looks forward to taking those first trains, he said that the North East Line extension should be up and ready by 2023, together with the opening of the Punggol Digital District, with the students and lecturers all coming in.
The Cross Island Line is expected take a little bit longer. The work will start in 2022, so there will be some disamenity for the residents here in Punggol, but Dr Puthucheary hopes that they will see that it is all worthwhile when the line finally opens in 2031.
Punggol Digital District: Singapore’s first business park powered by Open Digital Platform. Punggol Digital District (PDD) will be the business park that anchors business innovation and activity in the town. Masterplanned and developed by JTC, the PDD groundbreaking marks the first phase of its development.
With 210,000 square metres of business park and mixed use spaces available from 2023, PDD will leverage on the larger Punggol town to be a living lab for cybersecurity, smart living and smart estates solutions. The co-location of SIT’s campus with the business park buildings in PDD will provide students with a full-fledged applied learning environment, while businesses will have access to young talents at close quarters.
Punggol Digital District will be Singapore’s first business park to offer businesses ‘plug and play’ digital infrastructure through the Open Digital Platform (ODP). ODP is a smart city platform co-developed by ST Engineering, JTC, the Government Technology Agency, Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), and Infocomm Media Development Authority.