Singapore: Free early morning MRT rides extended to June 2017

The scheme allows the commuters, who end their journey before 7.45 am on weekdays to ride for free at 18 designated MRT stations.

Free early morning train rides to MRT stations within the Singapore city area before 7.45am on weekdays have been extended for the third time up to June 30, 2017.

Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo made the announcement on Thursday, giving a brief update on the Free Pre-Peak Travel scheme, which was introduced by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in 2013 as a year-long trial.

The scheme was extended twice and was due to end this June. But now it has been extended for another year.

Josephine Teo said that about 65,000 commuters use the Free Pre-Peak Travel scheme daily. "Even as our system copes with higher ridership, the distribution of the additional riders is quite even," she told AFP.

According to LTA, since the scheme was launched, there has been a sustained reduction of 7 percent in the number of commuters during the morning peak period.

The scheme allows the commuters who end their journey before 7.45 am on weekdays to ride for free at 18 designated MRT stations. These stations include Bayfront, Bras Basah, Bugis, Chinatown, City Hall, Clarke Quay, Dhoby Ghaut, Downtown, Esplanade, Lavender, Marina Bay, Orchard, Outram Park, Promenade, Raffles Place, Somerset, Tanjong Pagar and Telok Ayer.

Commuters who will exit at these 18 stations between 7:45 am and 8 am will also continue to enjoy a discount of up to 50 cents off their train fare.

In July 2014, LTA launched the Travel Smart Network to enable more commuters to benefit from the flexi-travel and shift to off-peak travel plans. It also encouraged several companies to create a supportive environment for their employees.

There has been a huge response with more than 240,000 employees from 100 companies, signing up to be a part of this scheme.