The free Pre-Peak Travel Scheme, which was announced by LTA (Land Transport Authority) in 2013, has been extended till June 2017, said senior minister of state, Josephine Teo, in a speech last Thursday.
Under the programme, commuters who exit from 18 designated MRT stations (including Raffles Place, Orchard, Tanjong Pagar and many more) before 7:45 am get to travel free.
This scheme is part of the Travel Smart Network, where the government provides funding to organisations for initiatives that encourage employees to travel during off-peak hours.
More than 100 companies, with over 240,000 employees, have joined the network since its launch in 2014.
Teo used Santa Fe, a logistics company, as an example, to highlight how enlightened employers see the benefits not only for their employees but their businesses as well.
To allow employees to start and end work earlier, they installed a card access system so that employees don’t have to wait or the office to be manually opened.
“Travel Smart is about getting people to work efficiently. But it is also about helping people to work more flexibly, so that they can meet their personal and family commitments, and at the same time fulfill their job requirements. For this to happen, the support of employers is essential,” said Teo.
The scheme was originally implemented to encourage more off-peak travel, and since its inception there has been a sustained shift of 7% of commuters out of the morning peak.
On average, more than 65,000 commuters benefit from Free Pre-Peak Travel daily.
Teo also stated that about 13,000 commuters each month take advantage of the monthly Off-Peak Pass. The programme was announced last year, and it allows unlimited travel on rail and bus services during designated off-peak hours.