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Trial of priority MRT cabins for wheelchair users, elderly and expectant mums to start 2020

Trial of priority MRT cabins for wheelchair users, elderly and expectant mums to start 2020
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - A trial of priority cabins on trains here will begin in 2020 on one of Singapore's MRT lines, the Land Transport Authority announced on Saturday (May 25).

These cabins are meant for people such as senior citizens, expectant mothers and wheelchair users, though other commuters will not be excluded from these cabins.

The LTA has not said which of the five current MRT lines the trial will be conducted on.

"To further help people who need seats when none are available, we will introduce a new 'please offer me a seat' identifier," said the LTA in the Land Transport Master Plan 2040 report.

Such identifiers will be available at passenger service centres on all MRT and LRT lines.

These initiatives are in line with the master plan's aim of making Singapore's land transport network more inclusive.

By the end of this year, for example, all MRT stations will have priority queues for seniors, expectant mothers, wheelchair users and parents travelling with strollers.

This measure will be extended to all bus interchanges and integrated transport hubs by 2021.

And by next year, all buses will be wheelchair accessible and have stroller restraints.

Other measures include the inclusion of Braille and larger fonts on signs at major transport facilities.

By 2040, all public buses will feature passenger information displays. These panels will provide information on the next four stops in the bus route, as well as information on nearby MRT and LRT stations and lines.

The displays will also have audio announcements of upcoming bus stops.

The LTA will also work with other agencies to make more public infrastructure barrier-free, such as by installing lifts at pedestrian overhead bridges.

Since 2013, lifts have been installed at 47 such bridges, with 29 more expected to be built by 2022.

The LTA will work with voluntary welfare organisations and other agencies to develop a system to measure its efforts on inclusivity.

It will also form a "commuter advocate" panel made up of people with diverse needs, including seniors, those with disabilities and parents with young children.

"By 2040, our goal is to have a land transport system that is anchored by a gracious and caring commuting culture, supported by well-designed infrastructure and facilities, and helmed by capable transport operators with well-trained staff who can help deliver pleasant and enjoyable journeys for all commuters," said the authority.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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