Green Man Plus to cover more crossings

PLLESS RUSH: The Green Man Plus system was installed at an Outram Road pedestrian crossing yesterday. It will benefit both senior citizens and the disabled.

Retiree Lim Kiam Kee, 76, can soon look forward to having more time to cross more signalised pedestrian crossings.

This comes after the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced an expansion of its Green Man Plus scheme - which allows senior citizens more time to cross roads - to more locations.

The scheme will be rolled out to cover 235 pedestrian crossings in 13 housing estates by the first quarter of next year.

By 2014, there will be a total of 500 pedestrian crossings with the enhanced green-man system. Their locations include Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 and 10, Bedok South Avenue 2, South Bridge Road and Rochor Road.

Mr Lim told my paper: "I have to rush across the road sometimes. I'm old, so it can be tiring to run. Now, at least I'll be able to walk a little slower."

The scheme was piloted in 2009 at five locations, such as Jalan Bukit Merah and Sinaran Drive. It was initially intended to cater to senior citizens, but will be extended to pedestrians with disabilities, too.

The Green Man Plus scheme extends pedestrian-crossing times by between three and 12 seconds, or an average of five seconds, depending on the size of the crossing, said LTA.

The green-man signal currently stays on for between 15 and 20 seconds at a three-lane crossing. Senior citizens currently use their Cepas-compliant senior- citizen concession cards to tap on card readers installed under the Green Man Plus scheme, in order to extend the duration of the green-man signal.

The concession cards are issued to those aged 60 and above.

Pedestrians with disabilities will need to use Green Man Plus cards, in order to enjoy the time extensions. The elderly need not switch to using the cards.

Some 7,000 cards will be distributed for free to five voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs), such as the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped.

VWOs will receive the cards by late this month, said LTA. These cards work the same way as ez-link cards, but cannot be used as a stored-value card.

Mr Joshua Ng, LTA's executive engineer, said the 235 locations were chosen based on factors such as the density of the elderly population and nearby facilities, like polyclinics.

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