The Land Transport Authority has studied the recommendations in the Public Transport Council’s (PTC) Advisory Report released on 1 August 2016. As Singapore moves towards our car-lite vision, it is important that public transport facilities are user-friendly and accessible for commuters with various needs. LTA, working together with the public transport operators (PTOs), will be rolling out several initiatives to enhance the commuting experience for all, including families and those with special needs.
Family-friendly bus and rail network
Prams in buses
- LTA has been studying the implementation of a restraint system which will allow open prams to be safely secured on public buses. As there is no standard restraint system available in the market today, we will be collaborating with institutes of higher learning such as the NUS High School of Mathematics and Science and Nanyang Polytechnic to study the design of the system.
- During the design journey, the safety of the pram users, the child in the pram and other passengers on the buses, as well as the needs of other bus passengers, especially wheelchair users, will be taken into consideration. Once the prototype of the proposed restraint system is available, LTA will work with the PTOs as well as pram users to trial it on our buses.
Nursing rooms at transport nodes
- To make it more convenient for parents and caregivers travelling with babies and young children, all new and upcoming bus interchanges and integrated transport hubs, such as those at Bukit Panjang, Outram, Sengkang, Shenton Way and Tampines, will be designed with a standalone nursing room which will come with diaper changing amenities and a wash basin.
- On the rail network, all stations along the future Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) and Circle Line 6 will have family-friendly washrooms, comprising a diaper changing station, child-size toilet seat and barrier-free facilities, alongside the main toilets in the unpaid area. We will include a nursing room and barrier-free toilet in the paid areas of interchange stations.
Dual speed escalators and travellators at MRT stations
- To address the needs of children and elderly using escalators at MRT stations, LTA will implement escalators with a dual speed feature for all new rail lines starting from TEL during off-peak hours. With the dual speed feature, escalators will be operated at 0.75m/s during peak hours and 0.50m/s during off-peak hours. This feature will be progressively rolled out to the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) during SMRT’s escalator refurbishment programme and eventually to existing escalators in North East Line, Circle Line and Downtown Line stations. We are also working with both SMRT and SBS Transit to trial reduced escalator speeds at selected existing stations that are frequently used by children and the elderly.
- New TEL interchange stations such as Orchard and Outram Park, which require some walking between lines, will also have travellators to reduce the amount of walking while making transfers.
More Priority Queues at MRT stations, bus interchanges and integrated transport hubs
- To cater to the elderly, pregnant women, persons with disabilities and parents travelling with prams, LTA will be rolling out Priority Queue stickers at platform screen doors and passenger lifts of all MRT stations by end-2017. LTA hopes that the implementation of the Priority Queue stickers will help remind commuters to be gracious and give way to those in need.
- In addition, all new and upcoming bus interchanges and integrated transport hubs will also feature Priority Queues. These will also be implemented at existing bus interchanges where space permits. These Priority Queues are demarcated areas where seniors, expectant mothers and persons 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.
Review of bus and bus stop design
- LTA had earlier this year embarked on a review of the design of our public buses. Two concept buses were presented to the public and feedback was gathered on a slew of interior features such as informational display panels, better seat comfort, lighting, USB ports and foldable seats. From 1 September 2016, commuters have been able to charge their phones and mobile devices on-the-go on board ten new double-decker buses that have USB charging ports installed. These features are meant to provide more comfort and more flexibility in the usage of space. Another 137 buses with USB charging ports will be progressively introduced from October 2016. LTA will consider introducing buses with three doors and two staircases to aid commuter flow and encourage commuters to move to the rear of the bus.
- In order to improve the design of bus stops, including the design of seats, LTA will embark on studies to enhance about 800 existing bus stops island-wide. The studies are targeted to be completed by 2019.
More point-to-point mobility options for passengers with special needs
- LTA recognises the need for more point-to-point mobility options such as private hire cars to be made available and safe for passengers with special needs. As part of the Singapore Taxi Academy’s training curriculum, taxi drivers are already trained to attend to passengers with special needs. The Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence requirements will also require private hire car drivers to go through similar training.
Providing information through ‘Find-My-Way’
- Starting today, the MyTransport.SG smartphone application will be enhanced with a new ‘Find-My-Way’ function that will allow commuters to look up information on station exits, nearby bus stops and bus services to other MRT and LRT stations. Such information will be especially useful for commuters during train disruptions, so they can make their way to operational train stations or continue their journeys via bus services.
- LTA will continue to work with PTC and PTOs to implement initiatives to make our public transport network more accessible, convenient and user-friendly for diverse groups including the elderly, persons with disabilities and families with young children.
 Existing bus interchanges that were developed from 2014 onwards, such as those at Bedok, Changi Business Park, Joo Koon, Woodlands and Yishun, already have nursing rooms.
 SMRT has embarked on the programme to refurbish escalators at 42 stations along the NSEWL as part of their efforts to improve commuters’ travel experience.
 SMRT has implemented reduced escalator speeds at Kent Ridge and Pioneer stations while SBS Transit is studying the feasibility of implementing reduced escalator speeds at Chinatown station.
 Travellators are currently installed at Botanic Gardens, Bugis, Dhoby Ghaut and Serangoon stations.