Families using public transport in Singapore have reasons to rejoice, especially those with young children. Here is why!
Hot on the heels of the MOE's announcement on education changes in Singapore, comes the Ministry of Transport's announcement, on how it is going to revamp Singapore public transport, with these 4 AWESOME measures:
1. Open strollers to be permitted in buses
Did we hear, "Yes, finally!"? Well, according to the Land and Transport Authority (LTA), Singapore, Second Minister for Transport Mr Ng Chee Meng has just announced that come 2 April, families will be allowed to board buses with open strollers.
Here is an excerpt from his speech, "I know it is challenging to have to fold up strollers before boarding public buses...We hope this will make travelling with young children on public transport more convenient."
Before you get ready to board buses with open strollers though, here are some guidelines you need to observe:
- Dimensions of permitted open stroller: 120 cm (length) by 70 cm (width). If the stroller does not fit through the doorway, you will have to fold it before boarding.
- Families with open strollers should wait at the priority queues or zones at bus interchanges.
- The ramp will not be deployed for open strollers. Hence parents are still encouraged to use Wheelchair Accessible Buses (WABs) for ease and convenience in boarding.
- Those with open strollers should always try to board by the front door, and alight through the rear door. Fare cards have to be tapped at the front too.
- Open strollers should be placed in the designated wheelchair space as far as possible, with the wheels locked. Try not to obstruct the bus passageway.
- Finally, here is Minister Ng's advice on the most important aspect, "Parents will have to be fully attentive and please take responsibility for the safety of their children, and hold on tight to the open strollers at all times."
Meanwhile, restraint systems to help secure strollers in buses are currently being tried out, and should be available later this year.
2. Nursing rooms at all new bus and MRT interchange stations
That's right, Singapore's slowly inching forward to make its public transport all-inclusive. It's a huge relief to hear that, all new and future bus and MRT interchanges will have nursing rooms, complete with diaper changing facilities and a wash basin!
These include bus interchanges and integrated transport hubs at Bukit Panjang, Outram, Sengkang, Shenton Way and Tampines. Meanwhile, bus interchanges at Bedok, Changi Business Park, Joo Koon, Woodlands and Yishun, already have nursing rooms.
3. Changing stations and child-friendly toilets at all new MRT stations
All MRT stations along the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) and Circle Line 6 will have family-friendly washrooms with a diaper-changing station and child-size toilet seat.
4. More priority queues at MRT stations and bus interchanges
According to the LTA, priority queue stickers (for the handicapped, elderly, pregnant women or families with strollers), will be rolled out at platform screen doors and passenger lifts of all MRT stations, by end of 2017. All new and upcoming bus interchanges and integrated transport hubs will also have this feature.
Well, what do you think, dear readers? Will these measures improve your commuting experience in Singapore? What other enhancements can be made to the public transport sector? Here are some things that we thought of. Now, we might be stretching things a bit here, but do let us know your opinion in the poll below! Meanwhile, if you have any other suggestions, share them in the comments below!
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