Young Commuters Take The Lead on Graciousness

News Releases 20 Apr 2013 graciousness

1.  A total of 25 proud student winners received their prizes from the Public Transport Council (PTC) Chairman, Mr Gerard Ee, at a prize presentation ceremony for their effort to encourage fellow commuters to be more gracious on public transport.

2. Held between January and February of this year, the contest encouraged primary and secondary school students to come up with catchy phrases to remind their fellow commuters to be gracious. The month-long contest saw an overwhelming 4,500 entries – triple the 1,645 entries for a similar contest last year.
3. The winning entries were unveiled at a ceremony held at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station by Mr Gerard Ee. Selected winning entries, together with reflections from working adults and seniors, have been developed into posters and stickers that will be displayed on train windows, platform screen doors, bus shelters, lift doors and other advertising spaces in the public transport network from April to June 2013. Please refer to Annex A for visuals on some of these exhibits.
4. The prize presentation is part of this year’s Graciousness on Public Transport programme. In its fourth year, the graciousness programme, “Make it Right for a Better Ride!”, encourages participation and expressions from the public. It is jointly organised by the Public Transport Council and the Land Transport Authority (LTA), and supported by SBS Transit, SMRT and the Singapore Kindness Movement.
5. This year’s programme continues to reinforce positive commuter behaviour such as giving up seats and space to those who need them more, moving in to the centre of train cars or the rear of buses, and queuing up while letting others alight first. A new message on asking nicely if you need a seat has also been added to encourage commuters to take more ownership of their journey. 
More “ground-up”  messages created by commuters for commuters
6. “As ground-up content resonates better with the community given that it is created BY commuters FOR commuters, we hope that our line-up of “ground-up” initiatives planned for the year will help obtain better buy in from the community”, said Mr Gerard Ee.
7. LTA’s Group Director for Corporate Communications, Ms Tammie Loke, added, “We hope our efforts to promote graciousness on public transport will help give Singapore a boost in its drive towards becoming a more gracious society. Of course, changing behaviour requires nurturing and constant reinforcement. So beyond our “ground-up” public education efforts, we would like to urge commuters to play their part in encouraging and reminding one another that gracious behavior on public transport will help make everyone’s journey more pleasant.”
8. This year’s “ground-up” initiatives include:
a. “Complimenting” our way to more gracious behaviour
Ungracious acts, such as the young and able-bodied taking up reserved seats meant for the elderly and disabled, are often “stomped”. A new “Gracious Moments” Facebook App to be launched later this year will provide a “twist” – the App will enable users to capture gracious moments they have witnessed or experienced during their daily commute. The new App hopes to introduce and promote a culture of commuters using positive reinforcement to encourage others to behave graciously by uploading gracious acts onto Facebook.
b. Reinforcing positive social norms – using “good” commuter behavior to promote graciousness
The PTC and LTA will use positive social norms to influence commuters towards better social behaviour. This comes in the form of stickers aimed at applying “peer pressure” by citing popular opinion and statistics. Statistics resulting from a series of online polls conducted by LTA with 5000 fans of its Facebook page, “We keep your world moving”, have found that most commuters are inclined towards behaving graciously when taking public transport. Some findings include:
  • 88 percent of commuters say they queue for trains and give way to alighting passengers
  • 87 percent of commuters say they give up their seats to those who need them more
  • 88 percent of commuters say they move in to make space for others to board
The stickers will be applied to platform screen doors, train windows and doors for about three months in the second half of this year.
c. Learning from the professionals and giving their take on graciousness through short films 
Given the popularity of videos, LTA will collaborate with students from secondary schools, junior colleges and tertiary institutions such as the ITEs, polytechnics, arts schools and universities to produce short films about graciousness on public transport.
Shortlisted teams will be mentored by established local filmmakers, many of whom have won awards locally or overseas. The film mentors will provide guidance to the teams to produce a 1-minute short film based on one or more of the four key graciousness messages:
  • “Ask nicely if you need a seat” (NEW!)
  • “Give up seats to those who need them more”
  • "Move in to let others board”
  • “Queue and let others alight first”.
Top teams will have the opportunity for their films to be broadcast on digital platforms, as well as in the public transport network.
Students who are interested can submit their entries (a synopsis for their short film) before the closing date of 30 April 2013. Please refer to Annex B for the publicity poster.
LTA will also continue to look out for opportunities to collaborate with partners such as MOE, who have got students to produce videos on graciousness – these will be shown on TV screens at MRT platforms and at bus stops fitted with digital screens. 


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