SINGAPORE - SMRT will give commuters a discount of 50 cents if they avoid travelling during the morning peak hours.
This is an increase from the 30 cent discount announced last October. Prior to that, the discount stood at just 10 cents.
When the increase was put in place on Oct 10, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SMRT observed that about 3-4 per cent of commuters shifted their travelling schedules out of the morning peak hour period.
Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew today revealed the news when he visited the Clementi MRT station.
The latest increase in discount, under SMRT's Early Travel Discount Scheme, will apply to commuters who end their journey by 7.45am from Mondays to Fridays at stations located in the city area.
The scheme, which is currently applicable only to commuters who begin their journey from North-South-East-West Line and Bukit Panjang LRT stations, will be extended to commuters who enter via the Circle Line stations as well.
In addition, the number of exit stations within the city area participating in the discount scheme will be increased to 14 stations, to include stations along the Circle line.
Commuters can log onto www.smrt.com.sg for more information.
Minister Liu told The Straits Times that a study by Stanford University and National University of Singapore researchers into whether prizes are incentives enough to prod commuters to switch to off-peak travel will be extended by a further 18 months from July 10.
Under the study, commuters taking the train during off-peak periods in the morning stand a chance to win up to $200.
SMRT has paid out more than $120,000 to nearly 17,000 commuters so far and the researchers hope to get 60,000 commuters involved in the study.
Train loading trial
In a press statement to the media LTA said it is also embarking on a new three-month train loading trial starting from July 19 to study the effectiveness of train loading information posters in helping commuters decide when to start their trips.
The posters will use different gradient colours to represent the varying train loading levels at a MRT station from 'less crowded' to 'more crowded' from 7am to 10am on weekdays.
The posters will be displayed at seven MRT stations including Boon Keng (NEL), Bukit Batok (NSEWL), Clementi (EWL), Eunos (EWL), Toa Payoh (NSL), Bishan (CCL) and Serangoon (CCL).
LTA said it will evaluate the effectiveness of the posters once the trial is completed before deciding on island-wide implementation.