We refer to Ms Linda Foo Kwee Lin’s letter, “Free travel scheme may not benefit all” (TODAY, 18 April 2013)
The free pre-peak travel trial aims to ease crowding for the morning peak hour along the city-bound stretches of the MRT network, which are typically the most crowded stretches of the rail network. This trial complements our efforts to improve rail capacity aggressively through additional trains, higher train frequencies and new rail lines in the longer term. We hope this encourages commuters who are able, and willing to make changes to their travel schedule to enter the city area before the morning peak hour. If we can achieve a shift of 10-20% out of the morning peak period, commuters who travel during the peak period will also benefit from a less crowded ride.
Today, there is significantly spare train capacity during the period just before the peak hour. About 18,000 commuters exit at the 16 stations in the city area in the half hour before 7.45am, compared to 29,500 in the half hour immediately after 7.45am, and 59,000 in the half-hour between 8.30am and 9am. To cater to the expected shift in ridership, additional trains will be injected at targeted stretches with higher loading during pre-peak period. This will help reduce the intervals between trains, which currently run at intervals of about 3 to 4 minutes in the pre-peak period.
We are very grateful for the interest and suggestions from the public on the free pre-peak travel trial. We would like to assure everyone that we will closely monitor the results of the trial, and that we will make rapid adjustments when needed.
Helen Lim (Ms)
Director, Media Relations and Public Education
Land Transport Authority