To create a seamless land transport system that is accessible for all users – including seniors and persons with disabilities – the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has implemented a series of senior-friendly initiatives that ensure that seniors and those with mobility needs can enjoy safe and pleasant journeys on our transport network.
2 These efforts are also part of the national Action Plan for Successful Ageing, which aims to build a city that enables the elderly to lead active lives and age-in-place confidently.
A Seamless Public Transport Journey for Seniors
Expansion of the Priority Queue Initiative
3 Following a successful pilot trial at Yishun Temporary Bus Interchange, LTA will extend the priority queue initiative to all new Integrated Transport Hubs (ITH) and bus interchanges, starting with Joo Koon ITH which will start operations on 21 November 2015.
4 This initiative features a demarcated area where seniors, expectant mothers and people with disabilities are encouraged to wait, so that they can be accorded priority boarding for their buses. Located next to the boarding berths, the priority queue zones are also fitted with seats for commuters to rest.
5 To ensure that it is clearly visible to commuters, the priority queue zones are painted in a different colour, while signage have been placed at locations such as the queuing berths and on the walls to remind commuters to give way to those in need. Tactiles have also been implemented so that the visually impaired are able to locate the waiting area. Based on site observations and public feedback from the pilot trial, LTA has also enhanced the design of the priority queue signs to include colours that are more eye-catching to commuters.
Better Way-Finding Signs
6 LTA is also studying ways to improve the signage in public transport nodes to make way-finding more intuitive for seniors. These include plans to simplify information on the signs and exploring the use of more pictograms. To find out if these proposed enhancements are useful, LTA conducted a public consultation with a group of seniors in August. Feedback from the session is currently being analysed, with the aim to begin implementation by the fourth quarter of 2016.
Making it Safer for Seniors to Cross the Roads
Expansion of Green Man + Scheme
7 Besides making it easier for seniors and those with mobility needs to board a bus, LTA has also been looking at ways to make it easier for this group of pedestrians to cross the roads safely at a more comfortable pace. Since 2009, LTA has introduced the Green Man + scheme which allow elderly pedestrians or pedestrians with disabilities to extend the green time of a pedestrian crossing by tapping their concession cards on a reader attached to the traffic light pole.
8 With an ageing population, the Green Man+ has benefited many elderly pedestrians or pedestrians with disabilities. Based on LTA’s records, the Green Man + can be activated up to 50 times per day at popular crossings.
9 To expand the coverage of this scheme, LTA has awarded a new contract worth $6.9 million to expand the scheme to another 500 pedestrian crossings island-wide. When completed in 2018, it will double the number of Green Man + pedestrian crossings from more than 500 to 1000. Works will begin from mid-November.
10 When evaluating new Green Man + locations, LTA looks at several factors – including estates with higher numbers of elderly residents, and areas with high numbers of public requests. For example, based on feedback from AWWA Senior Community Home, LTA will implement the Green Man + at the pedestrian crossing along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 and 6 to serve the needs of elderly there. Similarly, Green Man + will also be implemented at the crossing at 9 Upper Changi Road North following a request from The Salvation Army Peacehaven Nursing Home next year (2016).
Lengthening Green-Man Timings to Facilitate Better Walking Journeys
11 Besides putting in Green Man +, LTA has also been identifying pedestrian crossings where the green-man timings can be further extended to improve the walking experience of all pedestrians – including seniors. Currently, there are more than 700 signalised crossings with extended green-man timings. For example, pedestrians will have 21 seconds to cross Simei Street 3 / Changi Hospital, or 26 seconds to cross the Bukit Timah Rd/Serangoon Rd/ Selegie Rd intersection at a more leisurely pace that elderly are comfortable with.