Isochronic Singapore: Tuas West Extension

Helping birds lay eggs.

A couple of weeks back, it was announced that the East-West Line was getting an extension into Tuas West, or as known to the rest of Singapore as the place where birds don’t lay eggs. The extension consists of four new stations: Gul Circle, Tuas Crescent, Tuas West Road and Tuas Link.

When I heard the news, the first thought that crossed my mind was that I would need to update the schedules implemented in Isochronic Singapore. The next thought was that we could also visualise the impact of the introduction of these four stations.

Let’s begin by picking a starting point.

In LTA’s announcement, a collection of Clementi, Choa Chu Kang, Lakeside, Bedok, Woodlands and Ang Mo Kio stations were used as starting points to measure the time savings. But to keep things simple, I’ve instead picked a very neutral starting point of Jurong East station. For it is the gateway station into the Tuas West extension, as both the North-South and East-West lines would have to pass through this station to get further west.

(Left): Before the Tuas West extension. (Right): After the Tuas West extension.

Even by visually comparing the two isochrone maps, one can get a rough idea of the impact of the new extension has to the far western regions of Singapore.

While we can play a game of spot the difference all day long, this wouldn’t be an effective approach to understanding the impact of the Tuas West Extension. Thus, to get a clearer picture, we shall focus on the delta or difference in travel times.

(Left): Time savings rendered as a heatmap, with the new stations marked in orange. (Right): Reported time savings from LTA’s announcement.

From the data, we get a general improvement of at least 7 minutes, peaking at 25 minutes in areas around Tuas West Road and Tuas Crescent stations. Which seem to align with LTA’s measurements.

The only point of contention I have would be the reported time saving from Ang Mo Kio. Considering that all reported routes involve the East-West Line, and hence (with the exception of Lakeside station) would pass through Jurong East station at some point in the journey, I find it difficult to justify the additional 10 minutes in time savings heading into Tuas West from Ang Mo Kio. So out of curiosity, I run the same analysis with Ang Mo Kio station as the starting point, and got the following result.

Time savings after the Tuas West Extension, starting from Ang Mo Kio station.
While I have yet to implement an interactive visualisation of the impact heatmaps, feel free to explore the isochrones over at https://isochrone.swarm.is/.

Questions or comments? Reply below or find me at yang@swarm.is or on Twitter @yinshanyang. Thanks for reading!