For the convenience of residents traveling in the small island, the initiative should be applauded. This is what a comprehensive public transportation system should be like in a modern city like Singapore.
Wait, for those who are property-obsessed like me, is this good news?
Think an MRT station built right in front of your doorstep can increase the value of your property? Think again.
What about the hassles (air and noise pollution, traffic congestion, etc.) you have to endure during its construction?
How to convince buyers and tenants that the construction mess is only temporary and convenience will come in the near future?
Would it take long before your condo will be surrounded by public housing, neighborhood shops, hawker centres, ‘pasar malam’ that tend to be found near MRT stations?
Can you imagine the traffic jam, shopping crowd, human noise, etc. that come at peak hours, every evening, all weekends and on public holidays?
Do you know why projects at prime districts like Tanglin, Bukit Timah, Holland Road, River Valley can sell at premium prices, regardless of proximity to any MRT station?
Honestly, do you or your family really heavy users of public transportation? Or do you rather drive or be chauffeured around?
The most important thing is that I won’t see the MRT track from my window. From experience, if you can see it, you can definitely hear it – no matter how far the distance or how high the storey you are in.
It is interesting to see that sales brochures distributed in any showflat in Singapore like to highlight the selling point ‘near to MRT’. Sometimes, one MRT is not enough. They put ‘proximity to’ or ‘in between’ two MRT stations (Although in reality, it may not be near to any of the two).
In many big cities in US, Europe and Tokyo, you won’t find any developer using ‘near to public transportation’ as a selling point (except when selling to overseas buyers like Singaporeans!). It is because there are so many mass transit lines and stations that it is almost impossible not to find one near to any development.
The history of MRT in Singapore is not very long. For many years, there are only two lines (North-South and East-West) serving the whole country. And it is the slow development and lack of improvement in the MRT service that make it sound very precious to be near one.
Perhaps one day, when our MRT system can match big cities like Tokyo, a property next to the MRT station will also be nothing special to a buyer.