We refer to Liao Hong Chang’s letter, “Free MRT Rides Will Not Work” (Lianhe Zaobao, 29 April 2013)
The free pre-peak travel trial targets 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. We hope that this could result in about a 10-20% shift out of the morning peak period, if employers also do their part to support this initiative. This would result in a perceptible improvement in the crowding situation during peak hours.
Today, there is significant 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, more train trips will be added during the pre-peak period. We can also reduce the intervals between trains, as trains are running at intervals of about 3 to 4 minutes in the pre-peak period today.
Commuters travelling outside the city area can join the ‘Incentives for Singapore’s Commuters’, or INSINC, scheme to accumulate points for rewards when they travel during off-peak hours. (www.insinc.com.sg.)
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) 林玮琪
Director, Media Relations and Public Education媒体关系与公众教育署长
Land Transport Authority 陆路交通管理局