PM Lee Hsien Loong at the Groundbreaking Ceremony of Lentor MRT Station

PM Lee Hsien Loong | 8 September 2014

Speech by PM Lee Hsien Loong at the Groundbreaking Ceremony of Lentor MRT Station on 6 September 2014.


Mr Seng Han Thong, Ang Mo Kio GRC Grassroots Advisor, BG Tung Yui Fai, Organising Chairman, residents, ladies and gentlemen. A very good morning to all of you! I am very happy to be here for the ground-breaking ceremony of the Lentor MRT Station.

More Connectivity

For a very long time, Lentor residents have relied on buses for public transport to get to their destinations, or to get to the nearest MRT station, which is some distance away at Yio Chu Kang. 

But we have been improving our public transport system in Singapore, as part of our Land Transport Master Plan. We have been improving the bus services with the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP) and by 2016 we will have 1,000 more buses in the bus system across Singapore. And in Lentor we are also benefiting from this. There are new City Direct Service 652, bringing residents to CBD to work every morning and we also have new Peak Period Short Services to increase the number of buses on the more crowded routes which are coming in.  

But the MRT, we are also doing work.  It takes a bit longer but we are also working very hard. We have already made progress, improving the maintenance and the reliability of train operations so there are not so many breakdowns as before. And we are upgrading the signalling on our rail lines. So for example the North-South Line, we should have the project done by 2016, which is maybe a year and a half from now. And when we have the signalling done, then during the peak periods, the frequency can be faster, 90 seconds, one train and I think the capacity will be better. We are waiting anxiously for this to be completed. 

In the longer term, we are upgrading the rail network. Over next three years alone, we are going to add new MRT lines and extensions, Downtown Line 2, Downtown Line 3, other extensions at Tuas and our network will expand by one quarter. If you look at it a bit longer within the next 15 years, by 2030, the network will double and nearly 8 in 10 households will be within a 10-minute walk from an MRT station – so you just walk a short distance and you are there. This Lentor station is part of the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) – 43 kilometers long and it will connect residents here directly to the City Centre. It is a big investment, $24 billion and this phase, the Thomson phase, will be completed by 2021.

So the Lentor station will bring schools, work places and amenities much closer to home. It will make public transport more convenient and attractive. I hope you can go out, leave your car at home, whether you are going shopping, going for a meal, going to work –leave your car at home. And if you leave your car at home a few more times then you may decide you do not need to have a car, you do not need to have a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) after all.

But now that we have a station here, we can also develop the area around the station. We will develop the area towards the Teachers Estate, which is already marked out in the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan and by the time this station opens in 2020, this should be a vibrant place to live. And it demonstrates our determination to make Singapore a good home, a home which is a nice place for all to live, whatever your age group. 

Thank you Residents

So I think this a start of a very good project. But we have to build a project, it is going to take six years and during the construction phase, there will be inconvenience, there will be some disruptions, BG Tung just now mentioned this. I hope residents will understand this and will accept the temporary inconveniences because in the end I think it is a good thing which is coming. We will do everything we can to minimise these inconveniences – the noise, the disruption, the dust, the vibrations and the blockings but I hope that you will give this project your support and your understanding. Let us work together and make this succeed and I look forward to coming back when the train stations open and having an opening ceremony again. Thank you!

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