Did the Public Transport Council “quietly” axe the “Off Peak Pass for Seniors”?

No. The Off Peak Pass was introduced as a two-year trial in July 2015. Its discontinuation was announced in October 2017.


Off Peak Pass

Some online articles and media reports have made incorrect claims regarding the Public Transport Council’s (PTC) recommendation to discontinue the Off Peak Pass (OPP).

Factually sets the record straight.

1. The Off Peak Pass was introduced as a trial for all Singaporeans, and not specifically introduced to honour our seniors, as some have claimed.

The OPP was announced in January 2015 and launched in July 2015 as a two-year trial to encourage commuters to travel outside of the morning and evening peak periods where possible.

Singaporeans and Permanent Residents were able to purchase the Off Peak Pass at $80, while persons with disabilities and senior citizens could purchase the pass at $40. Contrary to some online claims, the OPP was not introduced as part of the SG50 celebrations to honour our seniors. The fact is, less than 1% of seniors who held concession cards purchased the OPP.

2. The OPP was discontinued as it was not effective, and notice was given on 30 October 2017.

The trial found that fewer than 200 commuters changed their travel pattern to travel at off-peak periods. Given that the OPP trial was not effective, the PTC recommended that it be discontinued. Instead, PTC recommended that all commuters enjoy a fare discount of up to 50 cents throughout the rail network if they tap in before 7.45am. Senior citizens and persons with disabilities enjoy this discount on top of their regular 25% discounts.

These changes were announced with wide publicity as part of PTC’s Fare Review Exercise on 30 October 2017. Besides extensive reports carried by major media outlets and on social media (e.g. here, here and here), posters were also placed at MRT stations and on buses.

3. Senior citizens enjoy 25% discount on fares at all times, and get an additional 25% off when they travel before 7.45am.

Senior citizens enjoy a fare discount of about 25% on our public transport network at all times. In addition, the $60 Senior Citizen Monthly Concession Pass, which allows unlimited travel on basic buses and trains throughout the day, is half the price of an Adult Monthly Travel Pass.

The PTC also introduced lower morning pre-peak fares (a fare discount of up to 50 cents for all commuters if they tap in before 7.45am) for the entire rail network starting 29 December 2017, which benefits more than 300,000 commuters. This also applies to senior citizens tapping in before 7.45am, as they will enjoy a further 25% discount off the lower morning pre-peak fares.  

Sources:
MOT Media Release (21 January 2015)
PTC Media Release (30 October 2017)
LTA Media Release (30 October 2017)

This article is accurate as of Jan 2018. For latest updates, head over to www.ptc.gov.sg.

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