In Singapore, early birds don’t just get the worm, but also free pre-peak rides on the MRT. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) recently announced that commuters who tap out out of 18 designated stations in the city area before 7.45am on weekdays will enjoy their ride free. Those who exit a little later won’t be missing out either — a discount of up to 50 cents will kick in for those exiting the station between 7.45 and 8am.
The free pre-peak ride scheme was introduced in 2013 as a way to lighten the notoriously commuter-heavy peak periods in the morning (8am to 9am), and it seems to have worked: while the original scheme was meant to be a one-year trial, the LTA has continuously extended it year upon year.
This time, the trial has been extended to June 30 next year, covering 18 high-traffic MRT stations: Bayfront, Bras Basah, Bugis, Chinatown, City Hall, Clarke Quay, Dhoby Ghaut, Downtown, Esplanade, Lavender, Marina Bay, Orchard, Outram Park, Promenade, Raffles Place, Somerset, Tanjong Pagar and Telok Ayer.
Even if the promise of a free train ride can’t incentivise you to get up so early in the morning, at least all of us will get to enjoy less packed trains during the morning peak: according to the LTA, the number of commuters packing morning peak hour trains has seen a reduction of up to 8% since the scheme began.
Those who travel outside the morning and evening peak hours can also look forward to using an off-peak monthly travel pass, allotting them unlimited travel for S$80 a month, by July this year.