Staggered working hours and remote working encouraged in Singapore

Spreading out commuter crowds on buses and trains during peak hours would help ensure the financial sustainability and efficiency of public transport.
By: | March 9, 2021

Due to the pandemic, the crowd in public transport during the morning and evening peak hours on weekdays has been less pronounced, said Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung during the Ministry of Transport Committee of Supply Debate on Friday.

This has led to transport operations being more efficient, and in turn, financially sustainable, he added. 

For this to continue, “we will need the cooperation of employers to stagger working hours [and] allow working from home even after COVID-19 passes,” said the minister. 

He added that public transport subsidies, which amounted to some $2 billion (US$1.49 billion) a year before the pandemic, will continue.  Last year, public transport ridership fell to a new low, breaking a trend of subsequent increases in the past 15 years. 

According to data released by the Land Transport Authority in February, the average daily ridership for buses and trains fell by 34.5% to 5.04 million, an 11-year low. MRT and LRT ridership fell by 41% to 2.162 million a day, while bus ridership declined by 30% to 2.878 million a day.

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To curb the spread of COVID-19, the Singapore government has urged employers to allow their staff to work on flexible hours to thin the crowds on public transportation during peak hours. 

As the city-state moved to phase 3 of its reopening on December 28, the government has maintained its stance that working from home should remain the default arrangement.