Khaw concedes: Off-peak travel pass scheme for elderly commuters was an utter failure

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Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan conceded in Parliament today that the off-peak travel pass scheme for elderly commuters was an utter failure. The scheme, which was launched in 2015 to encourage commuters to travel during off-peak hours, only managed to persuade fewer than 200 pass users to travel outside the morning and evening peak periods.

The Government also revealed that less than 1 per cent of seniors who held concession cards had made use of the off-peak pass scheme, to begin with.

The Minister called the scheme a trial that failed “miserably” and

“The result has been disappointing. When we design public schemes, it must benefit as wide a number of people as possible. After all, you’re spending taxpayers’ money.”

Following the discontinuation of the off peak pass scheme, the Government has launched lower morning pre-peak fares with up to 50 cents discount for those who travel before peak hours. The Government expects that this new scheme will benefit over 300,000 commuters.

As for elderly commuters who may face difficulties after the off-peak pass scheme was scrapped, Khaw offered that parliamentarians can “chip in” from their own pockets to help out:

“When we know a particular resident has been inconvenienced because of this, and despite the various 25 per cent discounts and so on, could not still afford their transport fares, as a local MP we do chip in if I discover such cases.”

He further revealed that more than half of elderly commuters and commuters with disabilities who used the off-peak pass have switched to the monthly concession card, through which they receive a 25 per cent discount on adult fares.

When asked by Workers’ Party Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Daniel Goh about whether this would mean more seniors would travel during peak hours, Khaw responded noncommittally, saying that while he doubted that they would, “we wouldn’t know until it is done.”

He added: “We will analyse the impact of these various new schemes. It’s just a few weeks in the run and we will see whether we need to refine the schemes as we go along.”

When Goh asked whether seniors could have a choice between purchasing an off-peak pass or an all-day pass, Khaw responded:

“While I encourage making mistakes, when you discover something doesn’t work and you keep on banging your head against the wall, why do you do that? You get a headache.”

97 COMMENTS

  1. Why consider failure when seniors didnt travel outside off-peak hours?
    Can you not poo when u need to? U mean i have to hold my poo till off peak hrs? I mean come on la, if u need to go to a certain place to attend to something at peak hours, i need or have to go right? So are u saying when seniors have an interview during peak hours, they are to tell the interviewers to postpone till off peak bcos of transport costs?

  2. It is a mistake because discount for elderly commuters should be given whether peak or off-peak. They don’t earn an income or very little, so they need some help and they need to travel not only off-peak but also during peak to attend their medical appointments, have coffee with their buddies or go for their morning taichi.

    The objectives of our national schemes should not be just schemes to solve the government’s or operator’s problems. It should also solve the problems of some segments of our society.

  3. Why must it all be about making money? How can this scheme be a failure unless they are anticipating to make more than they put in. If 200 seniors take up the pass how much does it cost taxpayers? What about taxpayers having to pay for rubbish bins, Lehman Investment failures etc.

  4. Typical no blame culture from his master! But it only applies to his white monkeys zoo! It is well known the white monkeys are only profit oriented in mind, cancellations of off peak pass is highly likely due to low or no profits generated by the scheme.

  5. Mr Khaw, can you stop the bike share apps in SG? By turning a blind eye, you being one of the more senior minister is turning our garden city into a junk bike city. Can we stop it immediately before it turns worse? Human nature being what it is, when there is no ownership, anyone will chuck these bikes where’s it’s most convenient.

  6. Cmon guys n gals , he is oni a puppet. So long the white is in power ,everything is money to them.Compassion hearts is no longer exist in SG governt since LKY step dwn as SM. U oredi voted to them no point in arguing tis n tat,but to wait for next election.

  7. Why bother arguing about this? Which seniors really did get around all the time off peak hours?

    That’s why i said this thing was a failure and a stupid policy from the start. Socialist policies has to stop. Let every single one of those who claim to care put their time and money where their MOUTH is and everything will be fine.

    SO why isn’t everything fine? Because all you socialist cunts don’t actually care and just wanna virtue signal.