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    Sep 27, 2016

    Buses, trains to be more user-friendly

    PLANS are afoot to make buses and trains more user-friendly to the infirmed and those with infants.

    Responding to recommendations made by the Public Transport Council last month, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said yesterday it will roll out features to make the public transport system more inclusive.

    For starters, it will soon allow open prams on board buses, and is working on a restraint system so that these devices can be secured.

    It will also implement dual-speed escalators and travellators on new rail lines, starting with the Thomson-East Coast Line.

    These devices will move at two-thirds the usual speed during off-peak hours, making them safer for the elderly, the infirmed and those with infants.

    Eventually, all existing lines will have this feature.

    The elderly, pregnant, disabled as well as parents travelling with prams will have priority queues at train stations by the end of next year.

    The LTA added that it will be redesigning 800 bus stops across the island. A study will start next year, and be completed by 2019.

    Then, new bus interchanges and integrated transport hubs will have nursing rooms. And new MRT lines will have washrooms with a diaper changing station, child-sized toilet seat and barrier-free facilities.

    Buses with three doors and two staircases to aid commuter flow may also be on the cards.

    And a new "Find-My-Way" function has been incorporated into the MyTransport.SG smartphone app.

    This allows commuters to look up information on station exits, nearby bus stops and bus services to other MRT and LRT stations.

    "Such information will be especially useful for commuters during train disruptions, so they can make their way to operational train stations or continue their journeys via bus services," the LTA said.

    Commuters are looking forward to the measures.

    Retiree Anthony Oei, 82, said having slower escalators is a good idea. "Some of them are very fast. For people like us, it can be very hard. What's the hurry, anyway?"

    Another retiree, Lee Chiu San, 70, said he has no problem with the current escalator speed but "younger friends who have health problems might appreciate this".

    He was also for priority queues, saying "various people deserve priority".

    Mother-of-two Michell Tan, 35, said: "Having nursing facilities is a step in the right direction."

    Allowing open prams on buses "is great too", she added.

    "No one has the time to close prams with the babies in arm to board a bus."

    Stockbroker Cole Cheong, 49, said measures to make the public transport system more user-friendly to all segments of society should go down well with the able-bodied.

    "I don't think people will complain about this," he said.