LTA launches initiative to get elderly commuters to take the lift instead of escalators

Dr Lily Neo, MP for Jalan Besar GRC, distributes souvenirs consisting of a pack of tissue and an ez-link card holder with the message "Seniors, Come Get A Lift, Make It A Safer Trip!" to an elderly woman on March 28, 2017.
Dr Lily Neo, MP for Jalan Besar GRC, distributes souvenirs consisting of a pack of tissue and an ez-link card holder with the message "Seniors, Come Get A Lift, Make It A Safer Trip!" to an elderly woman on March 28, 2017.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - To reduce the risk of elderly commuters getting hurt while using escalators at MRT stations, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Tuesday (March 28) rolled out a series of public education activities to encourage them to take the lift instead.

The initiative, which was launched at Tiong Bahru station, aims to tackle the high rate of escalator incidents among the elderly.

About 70 per cent of escalator-related incidents in recent years involved seniors aged above 60, according to the LTA.

Every existing MRT station has a lift that connects the concourse and the train platform, and there is also at least one lift at the entrance of the station that links to the concourse.

For new MRT lines like the Thomson-East Coast Line, there will be two lifts connecting the concourse and platform, and all entrances will be fitted with lifts.

Dr Lily Neo, MP for Jalan Besar GRC, said that promoting such a message "would give (the elderly) safer trips".

As a doctor, she was aware how "mounting the escalators would be another problem" the elderly face, besides climbing stairs. Encouraging them to use the lifts would prevent accidents, she said.

"The minute they fall, a lot of problems will come with it," added Dr Neo, who was at the launch at Tiong Bahru Station on Tuesday evening. Together with grassroots leaders, she handed out souvenirs to elderly commuters to remind them to use the lifts.

The souvenirs consisted of a pack of tissue and an ez-link card holder with the message "Seniors, Come Get A Lift, Make It A Safer Trip!" printed in all four national languages.

LTA will also be introducing posters in all train stations to reinforce this message. Other plans to spread awareness include radio talkshows, introducing advertisements in vernacular newspapers such as Berita Harian and Shin Min Daily News, and table-top advertisements in coffeeshops and hawker centres islandwide.

LTA said in a statement that they are "constantly looking at ways to make public transport more comfortable and less daunting".

This includes introducing dual-speed features on escalators which can have their speed lowered during off-peak hours.