The following day Singapore Land Transport Authority offered passengers their first chance to sample the driverless line with free travel on the six-station stretch from Bugis to Chinatown.

Speaking at the opening ceremony at Downtown station, Lee said the completion of the project marks the beginning of a major expansion Singapore's rail network, which is set to double in length to 360km by 2030.

Services on the initial section of the Downtown Line are operated by a fleet of 11 Movia C951 metro trains supplied by Changchun Bombardier Railway Vehicles, China.

Construction is well underway on the two remaining phases, which will take the total length of the line to 42km. The second 16.6km phase from Bugis to Bukit Pajang is due to open in 2016, while the 21km third phase from Chinatown to Expo will be completed in 2017.