Bencoolen MRT Station

明古连 | பென்கூலன்
Bencoolen MRT Station - Exit A
Bencoolen MRT Station – Exit A
Address 31 Bencoolen Street, Singapore 189658
Line Served   Downtown Line
Operator SBS Transit
Structure Underground
Platform Island
Opened on 21 Oct 2017

Bencoolen MRT Station (DT21) is an underground station along the Downtown Line (DTL) Stage 3. It is built underneath Bencoolen Street, near the junction with Bras Basah Road, and serves the nearby civic districts around the Rochor and Museum planning areas. At 43 metres below ground, it is the deepest MRT station in Singapore, succeeding the previous record set by Promenade station.

The station is named after Bencoolen Street, the main road which takes its name from the old Kampong Bencoolen. Bencoolen was also a city in Indonesia (Bengkulu), where Singapore’s founder Sir Stamford Raffles formerly served as Govenor-General. Built in close proximity to Bras Basah station along the Circle Line, the stations are connected by an underground public (unpaid) link which is part of SMU.

The station is built in close proximity with the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), Singapore Management University (SMU), School of the Arts (SOTA) and the Singapore Art Museum.

First / Last Train Timings

Downtown Line – (DT21) Bencoolen
Destination First Train Last Train
Weekdays & Sat Sun & Public Holidays Daily
DT1 Bukit Panjang 6:06am 6:24am 12:10am
DT35 Expo 6:12am 6:31am 12:12am

Station Layout

L1 Street level Bus stops, Taxi stand, Pick-up/drop-off point
B1 Linkway Underpass, Unpaid link to CC2 Bras Basah via Exit C
B2 Concourse Faregates, Ticketing machines, Passenger Service Centre
B3 Staff / Intermediate Escalators between Concourse & Platforms, Staff Area / Service Corridor
B4 Staff Staff Area / Service Corridor
B5 Staff / Intermediate Escalators between Concourse & Platforms, Staff Area / Service Corridor
B6 Platform A Downtown Line towards DT1BP6 Bukit Panjang
Platform B Downtown Line towards DT35CG1 Expo


Downtown Line (B6):
Platform A: Downtown Line towards DT1BP6 Bukit Panjang via DT20 Fort Canning (→)
Platform B: Downtown Line towards DT35CG1 Expo via DT22 Jalan Besar (←)

Bencoolen station has two platforms in an island platform arrangement, with both platforms utilized for trains travelling in either direction. Full-height Platform screen doors isolate the air-conditioned station from the tunnel environment, enhancing commuter safety and station comfort.

Passenger Information Systems, which are plasma display screens located at each platform, display expected train arrival times and key messages. Tactile flooring helps to guide the visually-handicapped from the platform to the station exits.


Escalator landings at B3 connects up to the ticket concourse at B2 and down to another escalator landing at B5 towards Platform Level.
Escalator landings at B5 connects up to another escalator landing at B3 and down to Platform Level at B6.


The concourse features faregates for automatic fare collection and provides access between paid and unpaid areas of the station, with at least one bidirectional wide-swinging gate for the benefit of passengers-in-wheelchairs and those carrying bulky items or travelling with prams.

General Ticketing Machines allow commuters to purchase tickets for single or multiple journeys, and along with Top-up Machines, offer contactless card transactions. The station office functions as a Passenger Service Centre, and is staffed during operating hours, where commuters may make travel inquiries.


The linkway at B1 connects the Ticket Concourse with Exits A, B & C.


Bencoolen MRT Station - Art In Transit 'Tracing Memories'
Bencoolen MRT Station – Art In Transit ‘Tracing Memories’

Art in Transit: “Tracing Memories” by Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA)
Sheryl Law, Reena Ng, Tay Yuling, Tsai Chingwen, Ooi Qiyang, Poornima Bargotra, Sheetal Muralidhara

An unwinding string gives a sense of direction which is what a train does. It has the quality of being flexible in its movement and the ability to tie things together. The string is therefore used in the artwork as a metaphor that connects the public together.

Silhouettes for the artwork were obtained from stills of videos of students performing activities representing the educational institutions, SMU and NAFA. These silhouettes are connected with a string leading towards each of the exit for SMU and for NAFA; serving as a form of wayfinding in the station.

As Bencoolen Street has evolved with the opening of the MRT, memories have been embraced in the art work in the form of iconic images; symbolising its history and life. These photos uniquely and visually captured the environment as it features patterns, decorative elements, buildings, trees and more. Photos submitted by the community were collected and used to fill the stop-motion silhouettes in a form of a collage. Each collage is colour coded to ensure that photos used for each silhouette will have a distinctive character.

Station Amenities

  • Public Toilets at DTL concourse
  • Retail Shop Provision at DTL concourse
  • ATM & Self-Service Machine


Bencoolen MRT station has two exits at ground level (A and B), with a third exit (Exit C) at Basement 1, connecting with the Singapore Management University underpass.

Exit Location Nearby
A Bencoolen Street V Hotel Bencoolen, Middle Road, Cathedral of the Good Shepherd Church, China Cultural Centre, Church of Saint Joseph, Church of Saints Peter & Paul, Fortune Centre, Maghain Aboth Synagogue, Manulife Centre, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA Campus), Singapore Council of Women’s Organizations, Singapore Art Museum, Waterloo Centre
B Bras Basah Road / Bencoolen Street Hotel Mi, Masjid Bencoolen, National Museum of Singapore, Orchard Presbyterian Church, Parklane Shopping Centre, Peace Centre, Pomo, Prinsep House, Rendezvous Hotel, School of the Arts (SOTA), Selegie Arts Centre, Sunshine Plaza, The Cathay, Wesley Methodist Church, YMCA International House
C SMU Underpass Singapore Management University (SMU), CC2 Bras Basah

Recognition & Awards

Extracted from IES released documents

The Downtown Line tunnel between Fort Canning and Bencoolen MRT stations on the Downtown Line was recognised by the Institution of Engineers Singapore (IES) as one of the top 50 engineering achievements with the greatest impact on Singapore since 1965.

Linking the Fort Canning and Bencoolen MRT stations, LTA engineers had to build tunnels just 1m above the existing North East Line (NEL) tunnel – the closest two lines have run on Singapore’s rail network. Built over nine months between 2013 and 2014, they also cross below the North South Line and Circle Line tunnels, at 8m and 3m respectively.

Source: Straits Times and IES

Transport Connections

Bencoolen station connects to three bus stops in the vicinity, as well as taxi stands and passenger pick-up points.


There are three official bus stops linked to Bencoolen station.

No. Bus stop Exit Bus Routes
B/s 1 04029 – Bencoolen Street (Bef Bencoolen Stn Exit A) A 64, 65, 139
B/s 2 04019 – Bencoolen Street (Opp Bencoolen Stn Exit B) A 131, 147, 166, 857
B/s 3 08069 – Bras Basah Rd (Bencoolen Stn Exit B) B 7, 14, 14e, 16, 16M, 36, 77, 106, 111, 124, 162, 162M, 167, 167e, 174, 174e, 175, 190, 502, 502A, 518, 518A, 652, 656, 660, 663, 665, 850E, 951E, 971


Taxi stands and pick-up/drop-off points are located next to the following station exits:

Exit Road Provisions
B Bencoolen Street Taxi stand (B17), Pick-up/drop-off point
A Bencoolen Street Coach pick-up/drop-off point

Rail Bridging Services

In the event of a MRT service disruption affecting Bencoolen station, rail bridging services (also called MRT breakdown shuttle buses) may be activated to ply affected stretches of the Downtown Line. In which case, the buses can be boarded from the following bus stops:

Towards Bus stop Exit
Downtown Line
DT1BP6 Bukit Panjang B/s 1: 04029 – Bencoolen Street (Bef Bencoolen Stn Exit A) A
DT35CG1 Expo B/s 3: 08069 – Bras Basah Rd (Bencoolen Stn Exit B) B

In addition, passengers can board free regular bus services at Bus Stops 1, 2 & 3 when activated.

Passenger Usage Patterns

As a Central region station serving the civic district, Bencoolen station encounters moderate demand levels owing to its close proximity to Dhoby Ghaut and Bras Basah stations.


Downtown Line Stage 3 (DTL3) Contract 936 for the construction and completion of Bencoolen Station was awarded to Korean contractor Sato Kogyo (S) Pte Ltd, the local branch of the Japanese contractor, for approximately S$177.58 million.

To facilitate the deeep excavation required for the construction of the station, the section of Bencoolen Street between Prinsep Link and Bras Basah Road was closed from October 2011 to November 2016. During those years, the section of Prinsep Street / Selegie Road (between Middle Road and Bras Basah Road) was converted to two-way traffic as a diversion for Bencoolen Street.

Future Developments

Major Incidents


External Links & References

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *