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Minister Khaw: Cessation of Park and Ride Scheme due to low take-up rate

Cessation of Park and Ride Scheme (PRS) was due to the consistently low take-up rate for the scheme.

This was said by Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan to Mr Ang Wei Neng, MP and advisor to Jurong GRC Grassroots, who asked the Minister whether the termination of the PRS runs contrary to encouraging Singaporeans to take public transport and whether the Ministry of Transport will consider encouraging and incentivising motorists to park their cars at the Sports Hub and Kallang surface carparks during days with no major events and take train rides to the Central Business District (CBD)

While, Mr Lim Biow Chuan, MP for Mountbatten SMC, asked the Minister for Transport if he can explain the rationale for stopping the PRS and what are the alternatives available to motorists using this scheme.

Minister Khan said the objective of the Park and Ride Scheme is to reduce traffic congestion in the CBD by encouraging motorists to switch to public transport just before entering the CBD.

The scheme was introduced in 1975, before the MRT system was built, and when the public transport network was much less extensive. However, it was abandoned after several months later as the take-up rate was too low due to a bus-centered system that proved to be cumbersome and inconvenient. The scheme was re-introduced in 1990 with significant improvements.

He said that many commuters are able to take the MRT and buses directly to the city from their homes today, which makes the Park and Ride scheme much less useful.

According to the Minister, there are fewer than 2,000 regular users, of whom only about half take public transport after parking their cars. This suggests that a good number of motorists are using the Park and Ride scheme as cheap, subsidised destination parking. This defeats the purpose of the scheme.

He stated that motorists who wish to drive for a part of their journey before switching to public transport can still park their cars at any car park near public transport.

“It will be cheaper than parking in the CBD, even without the subsidy from the Park and Ride scheme,” Minister Khaw said.

He noted that motorists who park at the Sports Hub or at Kallang, for example, and take public transport, could see savings of up to a few hundred dollars monthly, as they do not have to pay the much more expensive season parking in the CBD nor ERP charges, therefore, there is no need for taxpayers to provide further subsidies.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) had announced earlier on Friday (14 October) that it will cease the Park & Ride Scheme (PRS) with effect from 1 December 2016.

Currently, the PRS is in operation at several public car parks located near Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations and major bus interchanges.