With the introduction of Downtown Line 3 this October, commuting around the city has become more convenient.
Meet the new Walking Train Map (WTM), rolled out by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in early September, which showcases the walking time between MRT stations on different lines. This new map can be found at 19 stations including Bugis, City Hall, Chinatown, Dhoby Ghaut, Esplanade, Little India and Raffles Place and more.
The idea behind the WTM is a simple one: empowering commuters to make their own choices. With Singapore’s rail network in the central area becoming denser, transfers between some lines are actually faster on foot than by train. Whether you are walking to save time or to burn a few calories on the way home, the WTM allows you to make an informed decision on your commute.
However, there’s more to walking than just good health or making it to office on time. Here are some of the attractions and delights that you discover during your walking journeys.
Raffles Place to Telok Ayer MRT
Walking time: 5 minutes
The train journey from Raffles Place to Telok Ayer requires two changes – first to the Northeast Line, then to the Downtown line.
On foot, however, the journey is merely a short 500m stroll through the CBD which takes you past mouth-watering delights and scenic sights.
After leaving Raffles Place MRT via Exit I, walk along Collyer Quay and you will find The Quadrant in Cecil Street, a low-rise art deco building that has been gazetted for conservation. In the 1930s, the Quadrant was home to the Kwangtung Provincial Bank Today, it houses offices and The Black Swan, a modern European chophouse known for its juicy cuts of wagyu beef.
Continuing your journey along Cecil street towards Cross street. If you’re feeling famished, stop at CapitaGreen’s H.O.T (House of Taste), a cafe-bar which serves up pancakes, freshly-baked breads and single-origin coffees.
Cross at Cross Street and you should see a green coloured zinc roof. That‘s Market Street Interim Hawker Centre, formerly the Golden Shoe Food Centre. Noteworthy stalls include Golden Shoe Nasi Lemak and Johnson’s Western Food, a celebrated purveyor of your humble chicken cutlet.
If you have not been distracted by Market Street’s yummy eats along the way, Telok Ayer Station should be just round the corner. Follow the sheltered walkway and you’re there!
Bras Basah to Bencoolen MRT
Walking time: 2 minutes
The walk from Bras Basah to Bencoolen Station is probably the shortest journey on the WTM. However, this two-minute journey offers plenty to see because it’s right smack in the eclectic Bras Basah/Bugis district.
The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) is right outside Bras Basah’s Exit B. Housed in the former St Joseph’s Institution, SAM boasts one of world’s finest collections of Southeast Asian contemporary art. The museum truly comes to life during the annual Singapore Biennale.
To find Bencoolen Station, head towards Dhoby Ghaut along Bras Basah road. If you’re thirsty for more than just art, make a stop at Molly Roffey’s Irish Pub for a well-poured pint.
Bencoolen Station is right around the corner, but the area offers much more if you have time to explore. At nearby Sunshine Plaza, Merely Ice Cream serves up scoops of handcrafted natural goodness while Thai Gold Food offers a menu that is cheap but good.
Also, be sure to check out the park benches along Bencoolen Street. Designed by NAFA’s 3D Design students, they come in interesting shapes and themes and afford you a break from walking, should you require one.
You might also notice some shared bicycles on the brand new bicycle racks on Bencoolen Street, which would come in handy if you feel like cycling around the area to check out more of what it has to offer.
Fort Canning to Clarke Quay MRT
Walking time: 10 minutes
Fort Canning MRT station is located right outside Liang Court shopping centre and a stone’s throw from the nightlife at Clarke Quay.
Before you go drinking, it’s always wise to fill your belly first and there’s no better place than Liang Court’s Tamoya Udon, which serves up thick strands of Udon in steaming hot broth from 5pm everyday.
From Liang Court, head along Clarke Street until you reach the beating heart of Clarke Quay- a popular and bustling nightlife precinct. If you’re looking for a bite to eat, Wings Bar serves up some eye-watering ultra-spicy buffalo wings that will leave you weeping in pain. If you’re craving for a hearty feast, check out the famous Hai Di Lao Hotpot, which offers savoury soup with a view of the waterfront.
Following the river until you reach Eu Tong Sen Street, cross the bridge to reach Clarke Quay Central. The train station is located right beneath the mall but do stop for a delicious ice cream made with liquid nitrogen at 320 Below before you head below.
In Singapore, our hot weather often deters people from walking to their destinations. This is understandable because no one wants to arrive for a meeting or a date in sweat-stained shirt or a brow that resembles the Niagara Falls.
However, walking is a great way to sneak in a minute or two of exercise in your daily commute. On those afternoons when the blistering heat is absent, give the WTM a try to save time and burn away those extra calories, especially after a sinful meal.