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20 Jan 2021  (682 Views) 
Land Transport Authority

Intertown tunnels for autonomous electric vehicles
I propose that we develop tunnels from 20 towns to the CBD. The average length of a tunnel is 15 km. We need 40 tunnels of 15 km to provide for two way traffic. The total distance is 40X 15 = 600 km.

The cost of developing a tunnel, using the benchmark from The Boring Company of America is US $5 million per km or S $ 4 million per km. The total cost of 600 km is $2.4 billion. The cost of 2004 AEVs at an average of $50,000 will be $200 million. 

 This is a modest budget compared to the $7 to 8 billion for the North South Corridor.

The tunnel will be used by autonomous electric vehicles capable of taking 12 passengers. The AEV are provided by the tunnel company. If the interval between each AEV is 15 second, the capacity of each tunnel is 60 X 4 X 12 = 3,600 passengers, or 60 buses of 60 passengers.

Under the current bus system, the interval between buses is 6 minutes during peak hours or 10 buses an hour. The throughput of each tunnel is the equivalent of 6 bus services. 

Based on an average speed of 100 kph in the tunnel, the travel time for 15 km is 9 minutes. Imagine entering the AEV at Woodlands and arriving in the CBD 9 minutes later. Allowing the time for the feeder service at both ends, the total travel time would be 30 minutes. This compares with a travel time of 80 minutes using the current service.

A network of inter town tunnels would reduce the travel time, improve the efficiency  and reduce the operating cost.

Tan Kin Lian


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