Graciousness on public transport a 'two-way traffic', says Gerard Ee

It takes two hands to clap for graciousness on public transport, said Public Transport Council chairman Gerard Ee on Saturday.

"It is very gracious to accept an offer given to you, (it) doesn't matter if you're getting two stops later, and you can reinforce this good behaviour by saying 'I really appreciate your very kind gesture'," he said.

Mr Ee was addressing an audience of 80 students, parents and educators at the 'Make It Right For A Better Ride' prize presentation ceremony at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station.

He added that youth may find it "embarrassing" and be discouraged from giving up their seats if they experience rejection.

The graciousness campaign, now into its fourth year, saw 4,500 entries submitted by primary and secondary school students, who came up with messages to remind fellow commuters to be gracious. The number was triple the 1,645 entries in 2012.

Selected winning entries will be displayed on public advertising spaces in the transport network from now till June 2013.

The campaign adds a new thrust this year - "Asking nicely if you need a seat", in addition to the previous three key messages: "Give up seats to those who need them more",

"Move in to let others board", and "Queue and let others alight first".

Mr Ee said that graciousness on public transport is encouraging - despite the Singapore Kindness Movement Graciousness Index dipping eight points to 53 this year, public transport related components, such as giving up seats and giving way to alighting passengers, went up.

At the event, Mr Ee also announced new initiatives to promote graciousness that will be rolled out over the year. These include a "Gracious Moments" Facebook App, which will allow commuters to capture and share kind acts they witness, while the Land Transport Authority will also collaborate with schools to produce short films.