Public service and banks back Government's free early morning travel on trains

PHOTO: Public service and banks back Government's free early morning travel on trains

More than 40 public agencies located near the 16 affected MRT stations will back the Government's year-long trial to ease the peak-hour crush, said the Public Service Division in a statement on Tuesday. This includes the Finance and Health ministries, as well as, statutory boards like the Economic Development Board and Monetary Authority of Singapore.

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Here is the full statement from the Public Service Division:

Public sector agencies welcome the Land Transport A uthority's (LTA) one-year trial from 24 June 2013 to provide free rail travel for commuters ending their journey before 7.45am on weekdays, at 16 designated MRT stations in the city area. Commuters leaving these stations between 7.45am and 8am will enjoy a discount of up to 50 cents.

More than 40 public agencies located near these 16 MRT stations support this trial to spread morning peak hour crowds. They include ministries a nd departments such as the Ministry of Finance, Public Service Division, Ministry of Healt h, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority as well as statutory boards such as the National Libra ry Board, the Singapore Workforce Development Agency, Economic Development Board, Mon etary Authority of Singapore and Singapore Tourism Board.

The initiative comes as good news to some 14,000 pu blic officers working in these agencies who can opt to start work early (i.e. before 7.45am ) under the staggered work-hours policy to tap on the free or discounted rail travel. Many of these agencies also offer their officers the flexibility to start work later, depending on the n ature of work, as long as service to the public is maintained and they put in the required hours a week.

Many other public agencies outside the city area al so offer the option of staggered work- hours. This is part of the Public Service's range o f flexible work practices, which include part- time work and telecommuting, to help public officer s better manage their work and personal commitments.

"With the LTA trial, we expect more officers to opt to start work earlier. For this to work, we need to be more accepting of flexible work practice s. Managers must be mindful that officers who start work earlier should, correspondingly, be able to leave the office earlier. Work routines, such as meetings, will also have to facto r this in," said Mr Tan Hoe Soon, Director, Career Development and Management, Public Service D ivision, Prime Minister's Office.

"The Public Service will foster a more flexible wor k culture, one that ensures good work outcomes and a high level of service. It requires t rust and a sense of responsibility from both the supervisor and the officer. Ultimately, workpla ce flexibility is about helping our officers to give their best at work to better serve the public. We believe it can be done and we will help our officers transit into this future of work," sai d Mr Peter Ong, Head of Civil Service.