Free early morning train rides to city area extended to 2015

An informational poster showing details of the free MRT rides for early travellers on display at Bradell MRT on June 18, 2013. Early birds can now continue to catch a free train ride to the city area until 2015. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
An informational poster showing details of the free MRT rides for early travellers on display at Bradell MRT on June 18, 2013. Early birds can now continue to catch a free train ride to the city area until 2015. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Early birds can now continue to catch a free train ride to the city area until 2015.

The trial of free train rides during pre-peak hours will be extended by a year to June 23, 2015, said Senior Minister of State for Transport and Finance Josephine Teo on Friday morning.

Mrs Teo was speaking to reporters during a media event at Bugis MRT station, where she observed the morning crowd at 7.30am.

The trial, which began on June 24, 2013, had seen a sustained reduction of peak hour commuters. About 7 per cent had shifted out of the 8am to 9am peak period, said Mrs Teo.

The Land Transport Authority will focus on continuing to encourage more companies to implement flexible work arrangements so more city area employees can shift to off-peak travel. More details of this will be announced in July.

It is also running a series of activities to promote pre peak travel. For example, the Ya Kun chain will be sponsoring breakfast vouchers which will be distributed at selected city stations on May 16, May 23 and May 30.

It is too early to tell if the scheme will become permanent, said Mrs Teo.

Under the scheme to ease peak-hour congestion, MRT commuters who disembark at specified city-area stations before 7.45am travel free.