Singapore’s solution to rush hour: free off-peak subway rides

Originally posted on Quartz:

Last week, Toronto mayoral candidate David Soknacki made a bold suggestion to improve the morning transit commute: offer free rides to anyone traveling before rush-hour. The idea is that by encouraging more early bird riders (in this case, those traveling between 6 and 7am), city subways and buses will be less crowded at the peak of the morning peak. Here’s Soknacki, via the Toronto Star:

“Even if only a portion of those commuters do switch, it frees up capacity in rush hour when people can’t or won’t change their travel time.”

An offer of free transit during a political campaign might seem too good to be true—the real-world equivalent of every middle-school student council candidate who’s ever promised to get a soda machine for the cafeteria. But Soknacki’s proposal, in keeping with his general approach to transit policy, is both reasonable and realistic. In fact, Singapore’s transport authority…

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