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[[Image:Cg1 expo exterior.jpg|thumb|right|Expo MRT Station, sited adjacent to the 100,000 square metre Singapore Expo exhibition facility, sports a futuristic design by [[Foster and Partners]].]]
 
[[Image:Cg1 expo exterior.jpg|thumb|right|Expo MRT Station, sited adjacent to the 100,000 square metre Singapore Expo exhibition facility, sports a futuristic design by [[Foster and Partners]].]]
 
{{main|Facilities on the Mass Rapid Transit}}
 
{{main|Facilities on the Mass Rapid Transit}}
All MRT stations are either above-ground or underground except for the North South Line [[Bishan MRT Station|Bishan station]], which is at ground level. Most underground stations are deep and hardened enough to withstand [[conventional weapons|conventional aerial bomb attacks]] and to serve as [[bomb shelter]]s.<ref name="mrtstory3">[[#Reference-mrt1988|Mass Rapid Transit Corporation, Singapore 1988]], pg. 14 </ref><ref>{{cite web |url=http://www.scdf.gov.sg/Building_Professionals/CD_Shelter/shelter_programme.html |title=Civil Defence Shelter Programme |publisher= [[Singapore Civil Defence Force]] |accessdate=2007-01-01 }}</ref><ref name="mrtconf1">{{cite conference | author = Kwan Cheng Fai | year = 1987 | month = April | title = ''Architecture of Singapore MRT Underground Stations Concept Layout and Planning'' | booktitle = [[#Reference-mrtconf|MRTC & IES 1987]], ''pg. 29-33' }}</ref> Mobile phone service is available in and between all stations on the entire MRT network.<ref>{{cite news | first=Eoin | last=Licken | title=New Frontier for Mobile-Phone Operators Lies Underground | url=http://www.iht.com/articles/1999/07/01/ttmetro.2.t.php | publisher=[[International Herald Tribune]] | date=[[1999-07-01]] }}</ref> Underground stations and the trains are air-conditioned.
+
All MRT stations are either above-ground or underground except for the North South Line [[Bishan MRT Station|Bishan station]], which is at ground level. Most underground stations are deep and hardened enough to withstand [[conventional weapons|conventional aerial bomb attacks]] and to serve as [[bomb shelter]]s.the deepest station currently is [[dhoby ghaut MRT station | Dhoby Ghaut Interchange]] and all underground stations are fitted with platform screen doors. [[Singapore |Singapore]] is also the first in the world to have a train system fitted with such doors.<ref name="mrtstory3">[[#Reference-mrt1988|Mass Rapid Transit Corporation, Singapore 1988]], pg. 14 </ref><ref>{{cite web the deepest station currently is [[dhoby ghaut|url=http://www.scdf.gov.sg/Building_Professionals/CD_Shelter/shelter_programme.html |title=Civil Defence Shelter Programme |publisher= [[Singapore Civil Defence Force]] |accessdate=2007-01-01 }}</ref><ref name="mrtconf1">{{cite conference | author = Kwan Cheng Fai | year = 1987 | month = April | title = ''Architecture of Singapore MRT Underground Stations Concept Layout and Planning'' | booktitle = [[#Reference-mrtconf|MRTC & IES 1987]], ''pg. 29-33' }}</ref> Mobile phone service is available in and between all stations on the entire MRT network.<ref>{{cite news | first=Eoin | last=Licken | title=New Frontier for Mobile-Phone Operators Lies Underground | url=http://www.iht.com/articles/1999/07/01/ttmetro.2.t.php | publisher=[[International Herald Tribune]] | date=[[1999-07-01]] }}</ref> Underground stations and the trains are air-conditioned.
   
 
Every station has at least four General Ticketing Machines (GTMs), a Passenger Service Centre, [[light-emitting diode|LED]] and [[plasma display]]s that show train service information and announcements. All stations are equipped with restrooms and payphones, although some restrooms are located at street level.<ref name="mrtconf5">{{cite conference | author = Pang Kia Seng, Michael T W Grant, Tom Curley & Scott Danielson | year = 1987 | month = April | title = ''Architectural Aspects of Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit Elevated Stations'' | booktitle = [[#Reference-mrtconf|MRTC & IES 1987]], ''pg. 13-27' }}</ref> Some stations, especially the major ones, have additional amenities and services, such as [[retailer|retail]] shops and kiosks, supermarkets, convenience stores such as [[7-Eleven]] or Cheers, automatic teller machines, and self-service automated kiosks for a variety of services.<ref name="xchange">{{cite web |url=http://smrt.com.sg/commercial/shop_space.html |title=Leasing of shop space |publisher= [[SMRT Corporation]]|accessdate=2007-12-01 }}</ref> Heavy-duty [[Otis Elevator Company|Otis]] escalators shuttle passengers up or down stations at a rate of 0.75 m/s, 50% faster than conventional escalators.<ref name="trackline1087">[[SMRT Corporation|Mass Rapid Transit Corporation, Singapore]], ''Trackline'' Volume 4 No. 5 (October 1987), ''"A safe railway for all"'', pg. 4-5.</ref><ref name="mrtconf8">{{cite conference | author = Dr. Ing D Herrmann | year = 1987 | month = April | title = ''Heavy Duty Escalators and Their Special Features for MRT'' | booktitle = [[#Reference-mrtconf|MRTC & IES 1987]], ''pg. 341-350' }}</ref>
 
Every station has at least four General Ticketing Machines (GTMs), a Passenger Service Centre, [[light-emitting diode|LED]] and [[plasma display]]s that show train service information and announcements. All stations are equipped with restrooms and payphones, although some restrooms are located at street level.<ref name="mrtconf5">{{cite conference | author = Pang Kia Seng, Michael T W Grant, Tom Curley & Scott Danielson | year = 1987 | month = April | title = ''Architectural Aspects of Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit Elevated Stations'' | booktitle = [[#Reference-mrtconf|MRTC & IES 1987]], ''pg. 13-27' }}</ref> Some stations, especially the major ones, have additional amenities and services, such as [[retailer|retail]] shops and kiosks, supermarkets, convenience stores such as [[7-Eleven]] or Cheers, automatic teller machines, and self-service automated kiosks for a variety of services.<ref name="xchange">{{cite web |url=http://smrt.com.sg/commercial/shop_space.html |title=Leasing of shop space |publisher= [[SMRT Corporation]]|accessdate=2007-12-01 }}</ref> Heavy-duty [[Otis Elevator Company|Otis]] escalators shuttle passengers up or down stations at a rate of 0.75 m/s, 50% faster than conventional escalators.<ref name="trackline1087">[[SMRT Corporation|Mass Rapid Transit Corporation, Singapore]], ''Trackline'' Volume 4 No. 5 (October 1987), ''"A safe railway for all"'', pg. 4-5.</ref><ref name="mrtconf8">{{cite conference | author = Dr. Ing D Herrmann | year = 1987 | month = April | title = ''Heavy Duty Escalators and Their Special Features for MRT'' | booktitle = [[#Reference-mrtconf|MRTC & IES 1987]], ''pg. 341-350' }}</ref>

Revision as of 15:15, 22 March 2008

Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)
Public Transport System, Singapore (logo).svg
Overview
Locale Singapore
Transit type Rapid transit
Number of lines 3
Number of stations 64
Daily ridership 1.435 million (FY06/07)
Operation
Began operation 7 November, 1987
Operator(s)
Technical
System length Template:Km to mi
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) (standard gauge)
A diagram of the physical spread of the MRT network across the island (includes lines under construction).

The Mass Rapid Transit or MRT (Chinese: 大众快速交通 or more commonly known as 地铁; Malay: Sistem Pengangkutan Gerak Cepat; Tamil: சிங்கை துரிதக் கடவு ரயில்) is a rapid transit system that forms the backbone of the railway system in Singapore, spanning the entire city-state. The initial section of the MRT, between Yio Chu Kang and Toa Payoh, opened in 1987 establishing itself as the second-oldest metro system in Southeast Asia, after Manila's LRT System. The network has since grown rapidly as a result of Singapore's aim of developing a comprehensive rail network as the main backbone of the public transport system in Singapore with an average daily ridership of 1.435 million in FY06/07, though it pales in comparison to the bus network's 2.853 million in the same period.[1]

The MRT has 69 operating stations with 109.4 kilometres of lines and operates on standard gauge. The rail lines have been constructed by the Land Transport Authority, a department of the government of Singapore, which allocates operating concessions to the profit-based corporations SMRT Corporation and SBS Transit. These operators also run bus and taxi services, thus ensuring that there is a full integration of public transport services. The MRT is complemented by the regional Light Rapid Transit (LRT) systems that link MRT stations with HDB public housing estates.[2] Services operate from about 5:30 am and usually end before 1 a.m. daily with frequencies of approximately three to eight minutes, services being extended during festive periods.[3]

History

File:OpeningMRT.jpg
Opening of initial section of the MRT at Toa Payoh MRT Station.

The origins of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) are derived from a forecast by city planners in 1967 which stated the need for a rail-based urban transport system by 1992.[4][5] Following a debate on whether a bus-only system would be more cost-effective, the Parliament came to the conclusion that an all-bus system would be inadequate, since it would have to compete for road space in a land-scarce country.[6][7] The initial S$5 billion construction of the Mass Rapid Transit network was Singapore's largest public works project at the time, starting on 22 October 1983 at Shan Road.[8] The network was built in stages, with the North South Line given priority because it passed through the Central Area that has a high demand for public transport. The Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRTC), later renamed as SMRT Corporation — was established on 14 October 1983; it took over the roles and responsibilities of the former provisional Mass Rapid Transit Authority.[6] On 7 November 1987, the first section of the North South Line started operations, consisting of five stations over six kilometres.[8] Fifteen more stations were opened later, and the MRT system was officially launched on 12 March 1988 by Lee Kuan Yew, then Prime Minister of Singapore. Another 21 stations were subsequently added to the system; the opening of Boon Lay station on the East West Line on 6 July 1990 marked the completion of the system two years ahead of schedule.[9][10]

The MRT has subsequently been expanded. This includes a S$1.2 billion expansion of the North South Line into Woodlands, completing a continuous loop.[11] The concept of having rail lines that bring people almost directly to their homes led to the introduction of the Light Rapid Transit (LRT) lines connecting with the MRT network.[12] On 6 November 1999, the first LRT trains on the Bukit Panjang LRT Line went into operation. To promote tourism, the Changi Airport and Expo stations were added to the MRT network. The North East Line (NEL), the first line operated by SBS Transit, opened on 20 June 2003, one of the first fully automated heavy rail lines in the world. On 15 January 2006, after intense lobbying by the public, Buangkok station was opened.[13][14]

Infrastructure

Current network

Line
(Operator)
Operational Stations Length
(km)
Terminus Depot
North South line
(SMRT Trains)
7 November 1987 25 44 Jurong East Marina Bay Bishan
East West line
(SMRT Trains)
12 December 1987 27 45.4 Pasir Ris Boon Lay Ulu Pandan
Changi
10 January 2001 3 Tanah Merah Changi Airport
North East line
(SBS Transit)
20 June 2003 15 20 HarbourFront Punggol Sengkang

Facilities and services

Concourse level of Queenstown MRT Station, showing a plasma display screen, passenger service centre and faregates.
Chinese calligraphy is integrated into the flooring of the Chinatown Station.
Expo MRT Station, sited adjacent to the 100,000 square metre Singapore Expo exhibition facility, sports a futuristic design by Foster and Partners.

All MRT stations are either above-ground or underground except for the North South Line Bishan station, which is at ground level. Most underground stations are deep and hardened enough to withstand conventional aerial bomb attacks and to serve as bomb shelters.the deepest station currently is Dhoby Ghaut Interchange and all underground stations are fitted with platform screen doors. Singapore is also the first in the world to have a train system fitted with such doors.[15][16][17] Mobile phone service is available in and between all stations on the entire MRT network.[18] Underground stations and the trains are air-conditioned.

Every station has at least four General Ticketing Machines (GTMs), a Passenger Service Centre, LED and plasma displays that show train service information and announcements. All stations are equipped with restrooms and payphones, although some restrooms are located at street level.[19] Some stations, especially the major ones, have additional amenities and services, such as retail shops and kiosks, supermarkets, convenience stores such as 7-Eleven or Cheers, automatic teller machines, and self-service automated kiosks for a variety of services.[20] Heavy-duty Otis escalators shuttle passengers up or down stations at a rate of 0.75 m/s, 50% faster than conventional escalators.[21][22]

The older stations on the North South and East West Lines were not originally constructed with any accessible facilities, such as lifts, ramps, tactile guidance systems (Braille tactiles on the floor surface), wider fare gates and toilets for passengers with disabilities;[23] authorities in the past actively discouraged use of their system by the disabled.[24] However, these facilities are being progressively installed as part of a program to make all stations accessible to the elderly and to those with disabilities.[23][25][26] As of 27 February 2007, all MRT stations except Buona Vista Station are barrier free.

Depots

SMRT Corporation has four train depots: The Bishan depot is the central maintenance depot with train overhaul facilities,[27] while the Changi and Ulu Pandan depots inspect and house trains overnight.[28] The underground Kim Chuan Depot houses trains for the Circle Line.[29] Ang Mo Kio, Jurong East and Tanah Merah stations were built with a third middle track for off-service trains to stop at before they return to their depots, but the last two are now used as termini for the North South Line and the Changi shuttle respectively.

The Sengkang Depot houses trains for the North East Line, the Sengkang LRT and the Punggol LRT, all operated by SBS Transit. It is the first depot to have structural provisions for an industrial development located above the depot, to minimize the wastage of land in land-scarce Singapore.

Architecture and art

Early stages of the MRT's construction paid relatively scant attention to station design, with an emphasis on functionality over aesthetics. This is particularly evident in the first few stages of the North South Line and the East West Line that opened between 1987 and 1988 from Yio Chu Kang to Clementi. An exception to this was Orchard MRT Station, chosen by its designers to be a "showpiece" of the system and was built with a domed roof.[30] Architectural themes became a more important issue only in subsequent stages, and resulted in such designs as the cylindrical station shapes on most stations between Kallang and Pasir Ris, and the perched roofs on stations to the west of Jurong East.[31]

Art pieces, where present, are seldom highlighted; they primarily consist of a few paintings or sculptures representing the recent past of Singapore, mounted in major stations. The opening of the Woodlands Extension introduced bolder pieces of artwork, such as a 4,000 kg sculpture in the Woodlands MRT Station.[32] With the opening of the North East Line, a series of artworks created under a programme called "The Art In Transit" were commissioned by the Land Transport Authority. Created by 19 local artists and integrated into the stations' interior architecture, these artworks aim to promote the appreciation of public art in high-traffic environments. The artwork for each station is designed to suit the station's identity. Only stations on the North East Line come under this programme.[33] An art contest was held by the authorities in preparation of a similar scheme to be implemented for the upcoming Circle Line.[34]

On the extension to the East West line to Changi Airport, Expo Station is adjacent to the 100,000 square metre Singapore Expo exhibition facility. Designed by Foster and Partners and completed in January 2001, the station features a large pillarless titanium clad roof in an elliptical shape that sheathes the length of the station platform. This complements a smaller 40 metre reflective stainless steel disc overlapping the titanium ellipse and visually floats over a glass elevator shaft and the main entrance.[35]

Expansion

File:SMRT v2008 4.jpg
A map of what the MRT Transit system may look like in future. The line location for the future lines (in lightgray) are speculative and are subject to study by the Land Transport Authority.

The MRT system had relied on its two main lines, namely the North South and East West Lines, for more than a decade until the opening of the North East Line in 2003. While plans for these lines, as well as those currently under construction, were formulated long before, the Land Transport Authority's (LTA) publication of a white paper entitled "A World Class Land Transport System" in 1996 galvanised the government's intentions to greatly expand on the existing system.[36][37] The plans allow for the long-term replacement of the bus network by rail-based transportation as the primary mode of public transportation. It called for the expansion of the 67 kilometres of track in 1995 to over 160 in 10 to 15 years, and envisaged further expansion in the longer term.[36] By 2030, the government envisages a rail network of 540 kilometres — more extensive than London's 408-kilometre Tube system.[38]

On 25 January 2008, the government announced plans to accelerate the MRT's expansion plans.[39] This included bringing forward the building of the new Thomson Line and Eastern Region Line, extension of the North South Line by a kilometre further into the New Downtown and the extension of the East West Line by 14-kilometres into Tuas. The Circle Line will be opened earlier, with the Stage Three segment between Bishan MRT Station and Serangoon MRT Station opened by the middle of 2009. The Thomson and West Coast stations, initially to be opened at a later date, will open together with their neighbouring stations. The Circle Line will also be extended south to connect to the Marina Bay MRT Station. Finally, the Downtown Line's Stage Three will have its completion date moved forward from 2018 to 2016. It was anticipated that by 2020, the rail network would have grown to 278 kilometres from the current 138 kilometres, with ridership expected to rise from the current 1.4 million to 4.6 million daily.[39] The network density will also rise from the current 31 to 51 kilometres per million population, putting it on par with the networks in London and New York, while exceeding those in Hong Kong and Tokyo.[39]

Circle Line

Construction is currently underway for the Bishan MRT Station, to be linked to the Circle Line.

Currently under construction in five stages, the 33.3-kilometre Circle Line (CCL) will be the next major rail line to open after the North East Line began operating in June 2003. When completed, the line will connect all existing MRT lines, and will allow commuters to bypass the downtown area, reducing congestion especially at the City Hall and Raffles Place interchange stations. The Circle Line was originally scheduled to open in stages from 2007 to 2010, but when a section of tunnel near the planned Nicoll Highway station collapsed on 20 April 2004 during its construction and caused the death of four workers, the completion of the first stations was then announced to be postponed to 2010.[40][41] The line was then planned to be opened in two phases - Stages 1 to 3 stretching from Dhoby Ghaut to Marymount stations to be opened by late 2010, and the final two states by 2011.

On 14 June 2005, the Land Transport Authority announced a new 3.4-kilometre, five-station branch line, then known as the Downtown Extension, linking the Promenade station on the Circle Line to the Chinatown station on the North East Line. By 27 April 2007, however, the Downtown Extension was rebranded as Stage 1 of the new Downtown MRT Line (DTL), and no longer considered part of the Circle Line.[42] A new branch line parallel to the DTL's Stage 1 was announced to link the Promenade and Bayfront Stations instead, with completion by 2012. On 25 January 2008, it was announced that that the branch line will be further extended to the Marina Bay Station, with completion of both stations remaining at 2012.[43] The announcement also confirmed that Stage 3 of the Circle Line from the Bartley to Marymount stations will have their opening brought forward to mid-2009 and the other four stages by 2010.[39][44]

Downtown Line

File:Future MRT Downtown Map.jpg
An impression of the future Downtown Map, with Stage 1 of the Downtown Line highlighted in brown.

The 40-kilometre Downtown Line (DTL) will have 33 stations, connecting the northwestern and eastern regions of Singapore to the new downtown at Marina Bay, Singapore in the south and the Central Business District.[45] The exact locations of the other stations on the North-Western and Eastern corridor of the line has not been made known, except for the interchange stations at Bukit Panjang, Botanic Gardens, Newton, Little India, Bugis, MacPherson, Tampines and Expo. Like the Circle Line, the line is expected to be run in three-car trainsets with capacity for 500,000 commuters daily. It will be completed in three stages, opening by 2013, 2015 and 2016.[39][42][46]

The Downtown MRT Line was the result of a reconfiguration of several lines then planned to be built to ease access into new developments in Marina Bay, and to support unserved corridors parallel to the existing East West line. The first, a 3.4-kilometre, five-station line then called the Downtown Extension of the Circle Line, was announced on 14 July 2005 with construction slated to begin in 2007. Subsequent media reports, as well as plans unveiled in the Singapore Concept Plan 2001,[47] hinted at a new line to be built to serve the Bukit Timah corridor up to Bukit Panjang, and another circular line looping along the East Coast. Subsequently labelled as the Bukit Timah Line and the Eastern Region Line by the LTA, they were expected to be completed in the following 10 to 15 years.[48]

By 15 February 2007, there were hints of a major reconfiguration of plans when the Second Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced during his Budget Speech that after the Circle Line has been built in 2010, they would immediately embark on constructing a new S$12 billion Downtown Line with convenient links to Bukit Panjang.[49][42] On 27 April 2007, approved plans were finally announced to merge the three lines into a single 40-kilometre line, with the Downtown Extension, Bukit Timah Line and the northern half of the Eastern Region Line rebranded as Stages 1, 2 and 3 of the line respectively. Stage 1 would also include the building of a segment from the Promenade Station to Bugis Station, where it then continues on as Stage 2. Stage 3 would end at the Expo Station, with the rest of the southern half put on hold at that time.[42]

Eastern Region and Thomson Line

On 27 April 2007, plans for the Eastern Region Line (ERL) were revived,[39] this time consisting only of the southern half of what was to have been a continuous loop involving Stage 3 of the Downtown Line. The new 21-kilometre route will have 12 stations, commencing from Marina South and onwards to Marina East, Tanjong Rhu, Siglap, Marine Parade and Bedok South, terminating further north at Changi.[50] The underground line is expected to be completed by 2020. Also announced was the new Thomson Line (TSL), which will extend from the western end of the Eastern Region Line and link it to the northern part of Singapore. En-route, the 27-kilometre line will connect from Marina South through the Central Business District and up through Ang Mo Kio all the way to Woodlands connecting estates such as Sin Ming, Kebun Baru, Thomson and Kim Seng which do not now have a direct MRT link.[51] Completion of the 18-station line, also fully underground, is expected in 2018.[39]

Extensions to existing lines

Boon Lay Extension : Pioneer and Joo Koon stations will open by 2009.

The plan for the Boon Lay MRT Extension to the existing East West Line was announced by the Land Transport Authority on 29 December 2004. The 3.81-kilometre, two-station extension will extend westward from Boon Lay MRT Station, with one station along Jurong West Street 63 (Pioneer station), between Jurong West Street 61 and Pioneer Road North, and the second station at Joo Koon Circle (Joo Koon station), near the junction of Benoi Road and International Road.[52]

The fully elevated extension will cost about S$436 million, which is expected to be completed by 2009. Construction works commenced on 11 March 2006.[53] The alignment of the extension along Jurong West Street 63, Upper Jurong Road and International Road has required the acquisition of 28,000 square metres of land.[52]

On 25 January 2008, the government announced a further fully elevated 14-kilometre extension beyond Joo Koon Station into Tuas, involving the building of another five stations.[39][54] Plans were also announced for the North South Line to be extended underground by a kilometre southwards beyond Marina Bay MRT Station to serve the Marina Bay area, such as the new International Cruise Terminal which is currently under construction.[39][55] Both extensions are slated for completion by 2015.

Rolling stock

Trains parked at the bay of the Bishan MRT Depot
Main articles: C151 cars, C651 cars, C751B cars and Alstom Metropolis cars

Three types of rolling stock are used on the North South Line and the East West Line. They are powered by 750-volt DC third rail, operate in sets of six cars,[56][57][58] and use an automatic train operation system (ATO) that is similar to London Underground's Victoria Line.[58]

The majority of the fleet comprises 396 C151 cars;[59] these were the oldest trains in operation.[56] They were built between 1986 and 1989 by Kawasaki Heavy Industries in consortium with Nippon Sharyo, Tokyu Car Corporation and Kinki Sharyo for S$581.5 million.[56] A S$142.7 million upgrade of these trains is under way and will be completed by 2008.[60]

In 1994, 114 C651 cars, manufactured by Siemens in Vienna, were purchased when the Woodlands extension opened.[61] Some of these trains have previously been reconfigured in experimental programs to accommodate more passengers, but such arrangements have since been abandoned.

The French-manufactured Alstom Metropolis are the newest rolling stock on the MRT network.

Between 1998 and 2001, 126 C751B cars built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Nippon Sharyo in a joint venture were introduced. Kawasaki Heavy Industries manufactured 66 cars and Nippon Sharyo manufactured 60 cars.[59] The cars have a sleeker design and come with an improved passenger information system, more grab poles, wider seats, more space near the doors and spaces for wheelchairs. As these trains were originally intended to operate on a direct service from Boon Lay to Changi Airport, luggage racks were installed for air travellers.[62] However, in April 2002, faulty gearboxes forced all 21 train-sets to be off-service, and the service was temporarily suspended.[63] The direct service was scrapped in July 2003, and the luggage racks were removed.[64]

150 driverless Alstom Metropolis have been operating on the North East Line since its opening in 2003. Alstom Transportation of France was contracted by Land Transport Authority in 1997 and 1998 to supply these cars. They are fully automatic, powered by overhead lines on 1,500 volts DC, and are the first trains to have closed-circuit cameras (CCTV) installed within their interiors. A further order of 120 cars are due to be delivered before the opening of the Circle Line by late 2008.[65][66]

Fares and tickets

General Ticketing Machines (GTM) at Expo station, where passengers can purchase a Standard Ticket, or add value to their EZ-Link card.

Because the rail operators are government-assisted, profit-based corporations, fares on the MRT system are pitched to at least break-even level.[15][67] The operators collect these fares by selling electronic data-storing tickets, the prices of which are calculated based on the distance between the start and destination stations.[68] These prices increase in fixed stages for standard non-discounted travel. Fares are calculated in increments based on approximate distances between stations, in contrast to the use of fare zones in other subway systems, such as the London Underground. As the fare system has been integrated by TransitLink, commuters need to pay only one fare and pass through two fare gates during the entire journey, even when transferring between lines operated by different companies.[68] Commuters can choose to extend a trip mid-journey, and pay the difference as they exit their destination station.

Stations are divided into two areas, paid and unpaid, which allow the rail operators to collect fares by restricting entry only through the fare gates, also known as access control gates.[69] These gates, connected to a computer network, are capable of reading and updating electronic tickets capable of storing data, and can store information such as the initial and destination stations and the duration for each trip.[68] General Ticketing Machines sell tickets for single trips or allow the customer to purchase additional value for stored-value tickets. Tickets for single trips, coloured in green, are valid only on the day of purchase, and have a time allowance of 30 minutes beyond the estimated travelling time. Tickets that can be used repeatedly until their expiry date require a minimum amount of stored credit.

Although operated by private companies, the system's fare structure is regulated by the Public Transport Council (PTC), to which the operators submit requests for changes in fares.[67] Fares are kept affordable by pegging them approximately to distance-related bus fares, thus encouraging commuters to use the network and reduce its heavy reliance on the bus system. Fare increases over the past few years have caused public concern,[70] although the most recent application in 2007 to up train fares has been turned down by the PTC.[71] There were similar expressions of disapproval over the slightly higher fares charged on SBS Transit's North East Line, a disparity that SBS Transit justified by citing higher costs of operation and maintenance on a completely underground line, as well as lower patronage.[72]

Magnetic tickets (1987–2002)

File:SMRT official opening ticket.jpg
A special farecard, released for the official launch of the Mass Rapid Transit network on 12 March 1988.

When the MRT opened in 1987, fares ranged from S$0.50 to S$1.10 in S$0.10 increments for all adult tickets, regardless of whether they were single-trip or stored-value tickets.[8] Several discounted fares were available: senior citizens and permanent residents above the age of 60 could travel on a flat fare of S$0.50 during off-peak hours; children below the height of 1.2 metres and full-time students in primary, secondary, pre-university and vocational training (VITB) institutions paid a flat fare of S$0.30 at all times.[73]

Magnetic strip plastic tickets were used, in various forms. Stored-value tickets were called farecards and came in three types: the blue farecard was issued to adults, the magenta farecard to senior citizens, and the red farecard to children.[73] Single-trip forms of these tickets were retained at the faregates on exiting the paid area of a destination station.[69] Monthly discounted tickets were available in four values: beige, pink, and purple tickets for primary and tertiary students, and full-time national servicemen came with a value of S$13, S$30 and S$36, respectively;[74] the peach ticket was for secondary, pre-university and VITB students, costing S$17 each. These discounted tickets were valid for a month from the date of purchase, allowed up to four trips a day, and were non-transferable.[74]

EZ-Link cards and Standard Tickets (2002–present)

A standard adult EZ-Link card.

The EZ-Link card is a contactless smartcard based on Sony's FeliCa smartcard technology.[75] These cards are used for making payments for some goods and services in Singapore, mainly transportation services. Established in 2002, the technology was promoted as a mean for speedy and convenient transactions,[68] and an efficient method of reducing fare evasion, although there have been some cases of overcharging users.[76] As a benchmark, fares range from S$0.69 to S$3.04 for adults, S$0.64 to S$0.70 for senior citizens, and S$0.40 to S$0.50 for student EZ-Link cards. Patrons using an EZ-Link card receive a discount for their journey, including a discount if they use a connecting bus after their MRT ride.

The General Ticketing Machines (GTMs) at each station, replacing older ticket machines, allow commuters to purchase additional credit to add to their EZ-Link cards or to purchase tickets for single trips. Fares for these single-trip forms of these cards range are between one or two times the expense of non single-trip tickets. In addition, a S$1.00 refundable ticket deposit is charged for each Standard Ticket. This refund can be collected from any General Ticketing Machine when the card is returned to the machine within 30 days of purchase.[77] The card can also be left in a charity collection box, thereby donating the S$1.00 deposit. The smartcard technology contained in each Standard Ticket makes each one costly enough to necessitate recycling of Standard Tickets. Since November 2007, external readers were installed on GTMs at stations operated by SMRT Corproation to address problems of card jamming in insert slots. The slots, however, remain in use for the purpose of refunding Standard Ticket deposits.[78]

Concession fares are available for children, students, senior citizens and national servicemen. Students are given free personalised cards, complete with their photos, names and national identification numbers. Regardless of its type, each card is assigned a unique card ID that can be used to recover the card if lost. Transport operators have organised lotteries that are based on these card IDs. The Visitor's Card, which offers a package of services to tourists, can be used as an EZ-Link card. The Singapore Tourist Pass[79] offers unlimited travel for tourists on Singapore's public transport system. For S$8 a day, tourists can take any number of rides on buses and trains operated by SBS Transit, SMRT Buses and SMRT Trains.

Safety

Assurance has been given by both operators and authorities, that numerous measures have been taken in an effort to ensure the safety of passengers, with SBS Transit having to make greater efforts in actively publicising its safety considerations on the driver-less North East Line before and after its opening.[80] Safety campaign posters are highly visible in trains and stations, and the operators frequently broadcast safety announcements to passengers and to commuters waiting for trains. Fire safety standards are consistent with the strict guidelines of the US National Fire Protection Association.[17][81] Platform screen doors are installed at all underground stations.[17] These doors prevent suicides, enable climate control in stations and prevent unauthorised access to restricted areas. Above-ground stations have open platforms, with a wide yellow line drawn 70 cm from each platform edge requiring passengers to stand at a safe distance from arriving trains (or face a fine).[21] Bylaws deter uncivil, disruptive and dangerous acts, such as smoking, the consumption of food and drink, the frivolous use of safety features and trespassing on the railway tracks. Penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment are imposed for these offences.[82]

Safety concerns were raised among the public after several accidents on the system during the 1980s and 1990s, but most problems have been rectified. On 5 August 1993, two trains collided at Clementi station because of an oil spillage on the track, which resulted in 132 injuries.[83] There were calls for platform screen doors to be installed at above-ground stations after several incidents in which passengers were killed by oncoming trains when they fell onto the railway tracks at above-ground stations. The authorities initially rejected the proposal by casting doubts over functionality and concerns about the high installation costs,[84] but made an about-turn when the government announced plans to install half-height automatic platform gates in a speech on 25 January 2008,[39] citing lower costs due to it becoming a more common feature worldwide. The gates will be installed first at the Jurong East, Pasir Ris and Yishun stations in 2009, before they are introduced at all other stations by 2012.

Security

Closed-circuit television cameras monitor activities at City Hall MRT Station. Real-time video feed is broadcasted and shown at the station concourse.

Security concerns related to crime and terrorism were not high on the agenda of the system's planners at its original inception.[85] However, in the wake of heightened security concerns after the Madrid train bombings in 2004 and the foiled plot to bomb the Yishun MRT Station,[86] the operators deployed private, unarmed guards to patrol station platforms and check the belongings of commuters.

Recorded announcements are frequently made to remind passengers to report suspicious activity and not to leave their belongings unattended. Digital closed-circuit cameras (CCTVs) have been upgraded with recording-capability at all stations and trains operated by SMRT Corporation.[87][88] Trash bins and mail boxes have been removed from station platforms and concourse levels to station entrances. This is to eliminate the risk that bombs will be placed in them. Photography without prior permission has also been banned in all MRT stations.[89]

On 14 April 2005, the Singapore Police Force announced plans to step up rail security by establishing a specialised Police MRT Unit.[90] These armed officers began overt patrols on the MRT and LRT systems on 15 August 2005, conducting random patrols in pairs in and around rail stations and within trains. They are trained and authorised to use their firearms at their discretion, including deadly force if deemed necessary.[91] On 8 January 2006, a major civil exercise involving over 2,000 personnel from 22 government agencies, codenamed Exercise Northstar V, simulating bombing and chemical attacks at Dhoby Ghaut, Toa Payoh, Raffles Place and Marina Bay MRT stations was conducted. Thirteen stations were closed and about 3,400 commuters were affected during the three-hour duration of the exercise.[92]

Notes

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  2. ^ Land Transport Authority, Singapore 1996, pg. 8
  3. ^ "Public Transport Services extend on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve" (PDF) (Press release). TransitLink. 2005-12-21. 
  4. ^ Sharp 2005, pg. 66
  5. ^ Fwa, Tien Fang (4 September 2004). "SUSTAINABLE URBAN TRANSPORTATION PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT — Issues and Challenges for Singapore" (PDF). University of Tokyo. Retrieved 2006-05-01. 
  6. ^ a b "1982 - The Year Work Began". Land Transport Authority. Retrieved 2005-12-07. 
  7. ^ Lee Siew Hoon & Chandra Mohan. "In Memoriam - Ong Teng Cheong : A Profile". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 2007-11-26. 
  8. ^ a b c Mass Rapid Transit Corporation, Singapore 1988, pg. 8-9
  9. ^ Mass Rapid Transit Corporation, Singapore 1988, pg. 10
  10. ^ Sharp 2005, pg. 109
  11. ^ Sharp 2005, pg. 110
  12. ^ Sharp 2005, pg. 122
  13. ^ A Majid, Hasnita (2005-08-28). "Residents bring up 'white elephant' Buangkok MRT during minister's visit". Channel NewsAsia.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ Cheong, Yvonne (2005-11-12). "Grassroots leaders plan celebration for Buangkok MRT station opening". Channel NewsAsia.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  15. ^ a b Mass Rapid Transit Corporation, Singapore 1988, pg. 14
  16. ^ {{cite web the deepest station currently is [[dhoby ghaut|url=http://www.scdf.gov.sg/Building_Professionals/CD_Shelter/shelter_programme.html |title=Civil Defence Shelter Programme |publisher= Singapore Civil Defence Force |accessdate=2007-01-01 }}
  17. ^ a b c Kwan Cheng Fai (1987). "Architecture of Singapore MRT Underground Stations Concept Layout and Planning". MRTC & IES 1987, pg. 29-33'.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  18. ^ Licken, Eoin (1999-07-01). "New Frontier for Mobile-Phone Operators Lies Underground". International Herald Tribune.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  19. ^ Pang Kia Seng, Michael T W Grant, Tom Curley & Scott Danielson (1987). "Architectural Aspects of Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit Elevated Stations". MRTC & IES 1987, pg. 13-27'.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
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  21. ^ a b Mass Rapid Transit Corporation, Singapore, Trackline Volume 4 No. 5 (October 1987), "A safe railway for all", pg. 4-5.
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  23. ^ a b Sharp 2005, pg. 176-179
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  26. ^ Land Transport Authority et al, Journeys Issue 42 (Jan/Feb 2003), "Get a Lift-up!", pg. 10.
  27. ^ Mass Rapid Transit Corporation, Singapore 1988, pg. 46
  28. ^ B B Broms & J N Shirlaw (1987). "Depot Sites". MRTC & IES 1987, pg. 71-77'.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
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  31. ^ Khaw, Boon Wan (2003-06-06). "Speech at Launch of Art In Transit". Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. 
  32. ^ Ratnala Thulaja, Naidu. "Woodlands MRT Station". National Library Board Infopedia. Retrieved 2007-11-26. 
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  35. ^ "EXPO Station, Singapore, 1997-2000". Foster and Partners. Retrieved 2007-09-20. 
  36. ^ a b Land Transport Authority, Singapore 1996, pg. 44-47
  37. ^ "Other Rail Projects". Land Transport Authority. Retrieved 2005-12-07. 
  38. ^ Tan, Christoper (2006-03-13). "Groundwork begins for new MRT lines". The Straits Times.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  39. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "SPEECH BY MR RAYMOND LIM,MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT, AT THE VISIT TO KIM CHUAN DEPOT, 25 JANUARY 2008, 9.00 AM". Singapore Government Media Release. 2008-01-25.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  40. ^ Cheong, Yvonne (2005-11-29). "Four Circle Line stations won't be operational till 2010". Channel NewsAsia.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  41. ^ Ramesh, S (2005-06-10). "143 witnesses to give evidence at Nicoll Highway collapse inquiry: MOM" (Archive). Channel NewsAsia.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  42. ^ a b c d Tan, Christoper (2007-04-28). "33-station Downtown Line gets go-ahead, will be ready by 2018". The Straits Times.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  43. ^ Loh, Dominique (2007-04-27). "Govt approves S$12b MRT Downtown Line to be built by 2018". Channel NewsAsia.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  44. ^ Popatlal, Asha (2008-01-25). "MRT network length to double by 2020; two new lines to be built". Channel NewsAsia.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  45. ^ Popatlal, Asha (2006-11-05). "MRT feasibility studies underway for Downtown Line". Channel NewsAsia.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  46. ^ Loh, Dominique (2007-04-27). "Govt approves S$12b MRT Downtown Line to be built by 2018". Channel NewsAsia.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  47. ^ http://www.ura.gov.sg/gallery/images/2001YearXConceptPlanA3.pdf
  48. ^ http://www.lta.gov.sg/projects/index_proj_rail.htm
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  51. ^ http://www.straitstimes.com/STI/STIMEDIA/pdf/20080125/Thomson%20Line.pdf
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  54. ^ http://www.straitstimes.com/STI/STIMEDIA/pdf/20080125/Tuas%20Extension.pdf
  55. ^ http://www.straitstimes.com/STI/STIMEDIA/pdf/20080125/North%20South%20Line%20Extension.pdf
  56. ^ a b c Mass Rapid Transit Corporation, Singapore 1988, pg. 15
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  59. ^ a b "Hyogo Works History". Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Retrieved 2006-03-19. 
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  61. ^ "References - Metro System, MRTC, Six-Car Units, Singapore". Siemens AG. Retrieved 2005-12-07. 
  62. ^ "Commencement of revenue service at Changi Airport Station" (Press release). SMRT Corporation. 2002-02-06. 
  63. ^ "Temporary Suspension of Boon Lay - Changi Airport Through Service" (Press release). SMRT Corporation. 2002-04-23. 
  64. ^ "Shuttle Train Service Between Tanah Merah and Changi Airport Stations" (Press release). SMRT Corporation. 2003-07-17. 
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  66. ^ Land Transport Authority et al, Journeys Issue 42 (Jan/Feb 2003), "Safe, Sound and Fully Automated", pg. 8–9.
  67. ^ a b Land Transport Authority, Singapore 1996, pg. 58-59
  68. ^ a b c d Sharp 2005, pg. 113-115
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  71. ^ Leong, Wee Keat (2007-09-12). "This reality check keeps train fares level". Today Online.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  72. ^ "New NEL Fare Structure Approved" (PDF) (Press release). Public Transport Council. 2003-05-08. 
  73. ^ a b Singapore MRT Limited 1987, pg. 20-22
  74. ^ a b Singapore MRT Limited 1987, pg. 23
  75. ^ "FeliCa in Use". Sony. Retrieved 2007-11-26. 
  76. ^ Ng, Ansley (2005-05-20). "Buses and the not so ez-link". Today Online.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  77. ^ "What is a Standard Ticket?". TransitLink. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  78. ^ "New External Card Reader on General Ticketing Machines Make Card Transactions a Breeze" (PDF) (Press release). SMRT Corporation. 2007-11-06. 
  79. ^ http://www.thesingaporetouristpass.com
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  81. ^ Y C Siew & J P Copsey (1987). "Singapore Mass Rapid Transit System Design for Fire and Emergency". MRTC & IES 1987, pg. 131-139'.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  82. ^ "Rapid Transit Systems Act (Chapter 263A, Section 42)". Singapore Statues Online. Retrieved 2005-12-07.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  83. ^ Pereira, Matthew/Branden (1993-08-06). "MRT Trains collide at Clementi : 132 hurt". The Straits Times. pp. 1 & 25.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  84. ^ "Safety at MRT and LRT Stations - Respect The Yellow Line" (Press release). Land Transport Authority. 2005-11-20. 
  85. ^ López, M.J.J. (1996), Den Haag: RCM-advies, "Crime Prevention Guidelines for the Construction & Management of Metro Systems", pg. 35–39.
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  87. ^ Choo, Johnson (2004-08-07). "CCTVs at 35 elevated MRT stations to have recording capability by Oct 2004" (Archive). Channel NewsAsia.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  88. ^ Goh, Chin Lian (2006-06-06). "Buses, trains get security cameras". The Straits Times.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  89. ^ Chow, Karen (SMRT Corporation) (2007-09-04). "Why no photos at MRT stations...". The Straits Times Forum.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  90. ^ Loh, Dominique (2005-05-02). "MRT stations to have armed police officers on patrol". Channel NewsAsia.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  91. ^ Choo, Johnson (2005-08-15). "Special armed police unit begins MRT patrols". Channel NewsAsia.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  92. ^ "Singapore holds largest-ever terror attack response drill". Channel NewsAsia. 2006-01-08.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

References

Academic publications

  • Sock, Y.P. and Walder, Jay H. (1999), Singapore’s Public Transport.

Corporate and governmental sources

  • Sharp, Ilsa (2005). The Journey - Singapore's Land Transport Story. SNP:Editions. ISBN 981-248-101-X. 
  • Land Transport Authority, Singapore (1996-01-02). A World Class Land Transport System - White Paper presented to Parliament. ISBN 9971-88-488-7. 
  • Mass Rapid Transit Corporation, Singapore (1993) Stored Value - A Decade of the MRTC. ISBN 981-00-5034-8
  • Mass Rapid Transit Corporation, Singapore (1988). The MRT Story. ISBN 981-00-0251-3. 
  • Singapore MRT Limited (1987). MRT Guide Book. ISBN 981-00-0150-9. 
  • Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRTC) and Institution of Engineers Singapore (IES) (1987). Mass Rapid Transit System : Proceedings of the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit Conference, Singapore 6-9 April, 1987. ISBN 9971-84-636-5. 

See also

External links

Template:Navbox Mass Rapid Transit (Singapore)