SINGAPORE: A new initiative to reward train commuters who choose other modes of public transport when travelling in congested areas will be introduced later this year, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced on Thursday (May 9).
The authority said that the new initiative, called Travel Smart Journeys, is aimed at distributing peak hour travel demand more evenly by rewarding commuters along congested areas to consider alternative modes or routes.
LTA said it will provide more details on the new initiative in the second half of this year.
The existing initiative, called Travel Smart Rewards (TSR), was aimed at redistributing peak hour travel demand by allowing commuters to earn points and rewards when they travel outside the morning peak period.
People using the TSR can continue to earn points for train journeys until May 31. They can covert their points into cash rewards, or use the points to win more points or cash rewards through a game on the TSR portal until Jun 25. Points which are not used after Jun 25 will not be valid.
The Travel Smart Grant, which was established to encourage organisations to implement or trial some Travel Smart initiatives, will also be ceased.
RESULTS OF TSR INITIATIVE
LTA said that the introduction of lower morning pre-peak rail fares in December 2017, together with the TSR initiative, encouraged commuters to travel outside busy hours.
At present, commuters can enjoy up to 50 cents off their fare when they tap in at any train station islandwide before 7.45am on weekdays, excluding public holidays.
There was a 12 per cent increase in commuters travelling during the morning pre-peak period in 2018, significantly larger than overall ridership growth of two per cent, the authority said.
Since the introduction of the TSR, Singapore’s rail network has expanded with the addition of the Downtown Line and the Tuas West extension.
Ninety-nine new trains were also added to the North-South Line, East-West Line, North East Line and Circle Line between 2015 and 2019 to provide additional capacity.
"With these additions and recent efforts to renew and upgrade the network, peak hour loading has shown improvement across all rail lines," said LTA.
"From running the TSR, we recognised that our scheme design must evolve and adapt to changing ridership patterns and circumstances to remain effective.
"This is why the emphasis of the Travel Smart Programme will shift to focus on more localised initiatives, given that network-wide lower morning pre-peak fares has been established.
"These initiatives will complement each other, and continue to help better distribute peak hour travel load for more comfortable rides and allow a more efficient use of our public transport network."