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SMRT bait and switch ruse is finally killed.


SMRT bait and switch ruse is finally dead.
Were the FOC train rides indeed for real?
DEFINITION of 'Bait And Switch'
A dishonest marketing tactic in which a marketer advertises a very attractive price/rate/term that is really a teaser rate meant to attract customers. Once the customer comes into the store/office to inquire about the advertised price/rate (the "bait"), the advertiser will attempt to sell the customer a more expensive product (the "switch").
Read more: Bait And Switch http://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/bait-switch.asp
Problems with the old 18 City free exit stations in the pre Dec28, 2017 scheme:
1st, the scheme was UNFAIR because whilst I definitely helped cause congestion in MRT train when traveling in train right through the city area, i would purposely not travel off peak because even if i did so, my destination NOT being one of the privileged 18 stations located in the privileged CBD location, would yield zero discount, and thus the scheme was lost on me.

2nd ly, the MRT was so plagued with delays that i would wonder if commuters were being swindled of their promised free trip: trips would not be free if due to train fault, the commuter exited AFTER 7.45am... which made the free trip like a lottery win: only achievable if the train system didn't breakdown due to ignorant MOT staff/ negligent design: i.e. the minister of transport didn't need to find somebody else to blame that day.


Off-peak perks likely to ease rail crowds, say experts
Transport experts said the new scheme has a better chance of getting people to travel earlier than the existing free pre-peak period initiative, which is only for city area stations.

Transport experts said the new scheme has a better chance of getting people to travel earlier than the existing free pre-peak period initiative, which is only for city area stations. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
PUBLISHED 31 October 2017
Sue-Ann Tan
Zhaki Abdullah
Giving subsidies to commuters travelling throughout the MRT network during the morning off-peak period is likely to be an effective move to ease peak-hour crowds, said experts.

The Public Transport Council announced yesterday that commuters who tap in before 7.45am at any train station on weekdays from Dec 29 will receive a discount of up to 50 cents on their fares.

Transport experts say this is an improvement on the existing scheme, which gives free rides to those who tap out before 7.45am at 18 MRT stations in the city area.

Associate Professor Michael Li, a transport economist at Nanyang Technological University, said: "This is the right move. By giving the off-peak incentive, it should encourage people to move towards that time bracket.

"Commuters definitely would respond. If 5 per cent of commuters make the shift, I think it would be a success."

He added, however, that the Government would need to do a trial and error of the discount quantum to reach a price point that is most attractive for commuters to distribute the load more evenly.

Singapore University of Social Sciences economist Walter Theseira agreed that the new scheme would ease peak-hour congestion.

He added that it had a better chance of getting people to travel earlier than the existing free pre-peak period initiative.

"Previously, people had to tap out before 7.45am to get free travel, so it benefits those who already travel very early anyway. Now, by shifting 7.45am to the time people tap in, it is more targeted at those who travel around 8am to 9am, which is when there is a spike in commuters."

He added: "It is now also nationwide rather than just the city area, including congested stations such as Jurong East. There are many travelling to work in commercial areas outside the city, so this will impact them too."

Commuters interviewed had mixed views on whether such a move would make them change their travel patterns.

Ms Nadia Rosli, 24, a project manager at a food manufacturing company, said she would not wake up 30 minutes earlier for a 50-cent reduction. "Maybe I would do it once a week but definitely not every day," she said.

The new off-peak discount will apply to all stations and when a commuter taps in before 7.45am.
Related Story
Discount for commuters who enter stations before 7.45am on weekdays; all other fares unchanged

"I would also rather have fast, efficient trains that don't break down as much even if it meant paying slightly higher fares," she added.

Mr Eugene Tay, 42, an executive officer, said: "I tap in at 6.45am, so I will get the discount but it's not a big deal. I would prefer that the trains are more frequent and on time."

Ms Deanna Lim, 23, a lifestyle blog intern, said she would consider travelling earlier for the discount.

"If I get to work an hour or so earlier, I can go to the gym and have breakfast before work. I wake up early anyway, so it isn't such an issue for me," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2017, with the headline 'Off-peak perks likely to ease rail crowds, say experts'.