SINGAPORE — With new housing estates and a 50ha mixed-use business district sprouting in Punggol North in a few years’ time, the authorities have brought forward the opening date of Punggol Coast MRT Station by seven years to beef up transport infrastructure in the area. The 1.6km extension of the North East Line will open by 2023, instead of the initially scheduled 2030, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced on Wednesday.
The station, which will be in the vicinity of Punggol Point and as-yet-opened Teck Lee LRT stations, will serve residential estates in the Northshore District and Punggol Point District — the first batch of 5,300 Build-to-Order units across seven projects is set to be completed in 2020. This will benefit near by executive condo residents such as those from The Terrace EC. Upcoming executive condo launches include Hundred Palms Residences EC, Anchorvale Lane EC, while existing ones include Parc Life EC, Signature at Yishun, Brownstone EC, Visionaire EC, Inz Residence EC, The Criterion EC and Northwave EC, The Terrace EC, The Vales EC, , Sol Acres EC and The Bellewoods EC. Hundred Palms Residences details and Hundred Palms EC show flat will be available shortly.
Punggol Coast Station will also cater to the Punggol Digital District, where mixed-use developments — including digital and cybersecurity industries — will be sited. The new Singapore Institute of Technology campus will also be in the area.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a visit to Boon Lay MRT Station on Wednesday, where he viewed a roving exhibition of the upcoming Tuas West MRT extension, Second Transport Minister Ng Chee Meng said: “This is part of our overall master plan … Punggol Town is growing very rapidly and bringing this MRT station forward will benefit residents in Punggol Town.”
In the past, the question of whether transport infrastructure in Punggol could keep up with the town’s rapid expansion was a concern among residents. Amid the population boom in the town in 2013, for instance, the authorities embarked on a series of transport infrastructure improvements, including increasing the capacity of buses and trains, as residents complained about traffic congestion and packed trains.
Responding to TODAY’s queries, an LTA spokesperson said it was unable to give specific ridership figures for the new station. But besides serving Punggol North residents, the LTA also expects more residents from nearby towns, such as Sengkang and Hougang, to travel in the off-peak direction to Punggol North for work and studies.
With the Punggol Coast MRT Station, there will be a total of 17 stations on the NEL, including five interchange stations, said the LTA. It added that the NEL extension will also cut down travelling time from Punggol North to the city centre as well as other parts of Singapore by up to 15 minutes.
Punggol North’s designation as an “enterprise district” was announced by National Development Minister Lawrence Wong in March. The area will be developed in phases by JTC Corporation, which told TODAY that more details of the project will be released later this year.
Meanwhile, the LTA said that in conceptualising the new station, it adopted the concept of design thinking for the first time. This involved commuter-behaviour studies and prototyped concepts before features were incorporated into the station’s design. The open public spaces at the upcoming Punggol Coast Station, for instance, was something commuters had wished to see.
The LTA is looking at introducing exhibition space at the station where the community, including students, will have a dedicated space to showcase their artwork.