Govt awards $4m grants for dedicated transport services for the disabled

Govt awards $4m grants for dedicated transport services for the disabled

SINGAPORE - The Government, together with the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), have awarded grants totalling $4 million to three transport operators to provide dedicated transport services for disabled persons, said the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) in a statement today.

The grants will go towards defraying the cost of purchasing and retrofitting 33 new vans or buses, and will increase the capacity of the operators to serve disabled persons and enable them to achieve better efficiency and standards.

The three operators are the Handicaps Welfare Association (HWA), EK Ang Trading and Transport and Silveray. They were chosen based on their knowledge of working with persons with disabilities, service standards, training and safety standards, business model and proposed fees.

According to MSF, the operators' priority will be to serve disabled persons who are using community-based disability services or attending special education schools, and have committed to keeping their fees affordable.

Users of the service may also apply for transport subsidies from MSF.

Social and Family Development Minister Chan Chun Sing said at present, voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) serving disabled persons often face difficulties operating in-house transport services or engaging external transport providers.

"I believe that this new service can help them meet their beneficiaries' transport needs, and enable them to better focus on further developing on their core services," Mr Chan said.

Other recent efforts to improve transport options for the disabled include the funding of a wheelchair-accessible taxi fleet, introduction of public transport concessions and introduction of transport subsidies for those taking VWO-arranged transport and taxis.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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