Free pre-peak hour travel: LTA reports encouraging results on first day

Close to 10 per cent fewer commuters travelled to the city during the peak hour on Monday morning - the first day of the free travel trial before 7.45am.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that their data indicated a decrease of about 9 per cent of commuters exiting the designated 16 city stations during the peak period of 8 to 9am. This is compared to the average daily figures for the first three weeks of June, it said in a statement on Monday.

It added however that travel patterns typically take time to stabilise, as employers and employees make adjustments in workplace and personal arrangements, and there may be daily fluctuations as well. "The LTA will therefore continue to monitor the change in travel patterns over the next few months before drawing any conclusions as to the effectiveness of the trial," it said.

The one-year trial by LTA gives free travel on the rail network for commuters who end their journey before 7.45am on weekdays at 16 designated city stations. Those who exit these stations between 7,45am and 8am get a 50-cent discount.

The LTA said it had worked with the train operators to inject two additional train trips along the North-South and East-West Lines to cater to the increase in pre-peak travel.

It also encouraged employers to facilitate arrangements for their employees so that they can take advantage of this scheme.