SINGAPORE - More signalised pedestrian crossings will be built where possible in future, so that elderly pedestrians and people with disabilities have an easier time crossing the road.
These crossings are less physically taxing compared to overhead bridges or underpasses, said Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo in Parliament on Tuesday (Apr 12).
They are among several measures aimed at improving access to public transport for the elderly and the disabled that were spelled out during the debate on the Transport Ministry's budget.
In response to MP Zaqy Mohamad (Chua Chu Kang GRC)and MP Sitoh Yih Pin (Potong Pasir) who called for more sensitivity to the needs of the elderly, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan identified " the continuing greying of our population" as a key concern for the transport sector.
Mrs Teo noted that the LTA is currently installing lifts at 41 overhead bridges, with priority given to areas frequented by the elderly or disabled such as healthcare institutions and schools for special needs children.
"We will expand this programme to about 50 more bridges," she added.
Non-Constituency MP Leon Perera asked for MRT stations be
fitted with two lifts, as the sole lift at various stations now will face more pressure from an ageing population. " A single lift also means a single point of failure," he said.
Mrs Teo replied that her ministry is looking into equipping all new MRT stations with two sets of lifts.
Mrs Teo also spoke about measures to enhance the walking experience for commuters. All MRT and LRT stations will be connected by sheltered walkways to nearby schools and healthcare facilities by 2018, she said.
She added that Downtown Line 2 stations will have 13 km of sheltered walkways, while Downtown Line 3 stations will have 16 km of such walkways, in addition to the existing 56 kilometres.
Responding to Mr Ang Wei Neng (Jurong GRC) who asked if a covered walkway would be built between Simei MRT station and Changi General Hospital, Mrs Teo said this would be in place by next year.
She added that the feasibility of a similar walkway between Yishun station and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital would be studied.
She noted, however, that the hospital is about 700m from the station. Commuters tend to prefer bus transfers for that distance, she said.