By Zemira Gabriella Kavishree
The dilemma in deciding whether to walk or wait for a bus from Woodlands MRT station to get to class on time will soon be a thing of the past for RP students.
Instead, students can take the train to Woodlands North MRT station and use an exit next to Campus Heights Republic Hospitality Centre to get to school. Woodlands North MRT is among three stations on the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) which will begin operations on Jan 31.
Commuters had a preview of the three new stations during an Open House event on Jan 11. Among the 32 stations on the Thomson-East Coast Line, Woodlands North is the biggest as it is designed with a cross-border rail link with Malaysia in mind.
Currently, students have two options to get to RP from Woodlands MRT station – a 10-minute walk or waiting for SMRT’s bus services 902 or 169. But the Thomson-East Coast Line – Singapore’s sixth MRT line – will provide another transport option to RP via Woodlands North station, especially on days when it rains.
The arrival of the Woodlands North station means a shorter travelling time for final-year student Iman Jumahat. “I will definitely be taking the new MRT as it would shave off at least 10 minutes of my travelling time,” said the Human Resource Management with Psychology student.
Students should take note that train frequencies on the new train line will be slower compared to others as fewer commuters are expected. Trains will be running at a frequency of 10 minutes during peak hours and 15 minutes at other times from Woodlands North to Woodlands South stations.
Other students are looking forward to greater connectivity with the new train line. When fully open by 2024, the Thomson-East Coast Line will link neighbourhoods in Woodlands, Thomson, Toa Payoh, Marine Parade and Bedok via the Central Business District.
“I am looking forward to the new line especially Outram Park station. It will help me drastically if I am travelling to the south of Singapore when I go out or work,” said second-year Biomedical Science student Phua Jun Xiang.
Woodlands residents too are looking forward to the opening of the new MRT line as it marks the end of the construction and road diversions. “I think all of us were getting impatient with the construction as it was never ending, but now I feel relieved and happy that the stations are finally ready,” said Ms Rebecca Indra, a resident living near the Woodlands South station.
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