Tag Archives: public transport singapore

Making the World Accessible to PWDs

Public Transport Accessibility for PWDGovernments around the world are becoming sensitive to the needs of PWDs (persons with disabilities). The transportation sector is consciously including the welfare of the handicapped in their projects.

Train Accessibility

SMRT, a Singaporean transportation company, helps the elderly and persons with disabilities. Built to assist visually- and hearing-impaired commuters, the trains are PWD-commuter friendly. For the visually-impaired, the train stations have tactile ground surfaces that canes can identify, along with Braille plates on all lift buttons. There are regular announcements of the station names, and audio instructions for transfers are available at the Interchange station. The management allows service animals like guide dogs onboard.

In assisting the hearing-impaired, Rail Travel Information System on platforms inform passengers of the arrival and destination time of the trains. Trains on the North-South and East-West lines indicate the route-map located above the train doors. A fluorescent display on the ceiling provides multi-language transcripts of the audio announcements.  Doors bear flashing warning lights to indicate when the doors are closing.

A barrier-free entrance, wider fare gates and accessible elevators allow commuters in wheelchairs to get into the trains with ease. Train carriages have wheelchair spaces located near the lift. PWD commuters are escorted to the platform and are assisted by the company’s staff when boarding and alighting.

Taking the Bus

Buses, like Manila’s point-to-point premium bus service for PWD’s, operate to service commuters in wheelchairs. The bus features low floors and a built-in ramp. It has room for eight wheelchairs and can fit 39 passengers. Abner Manlapaz and Eunice Factor speak of the bus ride’s convenience. They applaud the innovation because regular bus drivers do not even bother to stop for them.

In Singapore, buses for the visually-impaired also allow guide dogs to accompany their owners, as long as the handlers have their IDs. Bus captains may provide assistance to passengers in wheelchairs.

Commuting is part of an able person’s day-to-day activities. Making the world accessible to PWDs by addressing their conditions in the transportation sector can boost the community’s economy and negate marginalisation.