The Land Transport Authority (LTA) in Singapore is extending its Free Pre-Peak Travel on the rail network by another year to 30 June 2016. Commuters who end their journey before 7.45am on weekdays at 18 designated MRT stations in the city area will continue to enjoy free travel on the rail network. Commuters who exit at these stations between 7.45am and 8am will also continue to enjoy a discount of up to 50 cents off their train fare. The initiative launched in June 2013, as part of the Singapore Government’s effort to try to alleviate the morning peak hour crowding situation on trains has delivered a sustained reduction of 7-8% in commuter numbers during the morning peak period. The ratio of morning peak (8am to 9am) to pre-peak (7am to 8am) travel (based on commuters exiting from the designated stations) has fallen from 2.7 and stabilised at 2.1, resulting in a more evenly distributed morning rail ridership.
Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Transport Mrs Josephine Teo said, “The proportion of commuters who have shifted their travel patterns due to the Free Pre-peak Travel scheme is significant and has stabilised after two years. The scheme is an important foundation on which we can build on for our other travel demand management efforts, which includes our Travel Smart Programme, Travel Smart Rewards and the new Tranist Pass that we are introducing in July this year. We hope that more people, who are able and willing to shift their travelling times, will benefit.”
To enable more commuters to benefit from flexi-travel and shift to off-peak travel, LTA had also launched the Travel Smart Network in July 2014 to encourage more companies to create supportive environments for their employees. There has been strong support from organisations so far, with more than 50 organisations, employing more than 120,000 employees, enrolled in the Travel Smart Network. In addition to the free rides, the LTA has been offering a number of additional activities to promote pre-peak travel, including free breakfast vouchers for these early risers (see poster left).