Restraint system for prams, dual-speed escalators among changes to make Singapore public transport more family-friendly

The Land Transport Authority is working with the NUS High School of Mathematics and Science, and Nanyang Polytechnic, to design a restraint system for prams on buses.
The Land Transport Authority is working with the NUS High School of Mathematics and Science, and Nanyang Polytechnic, to design a restraint system for prams on buses.ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN

SINGAPORE - The Land Transport Authority is working with the NUS High School of Mathematics and Science, and Nanyang Polytechnic, to design a restraint system for prams on buses.

"Once the prototype of the proposed restraint system is available, LTA will work with the (public transport operators) as well as pram users to trial it on our buses," the LTA said.

The move is in response to recommendations from the Public Transport Council to make Singapore's buses and trains more inclusive and user-friendly.

To this end, the LTA said on Monday (Sept 26) that all new bus interchanges and integrated transport hubs - such as those at Bukit Panjang, Outram, Sengkang, Shenton Way and Tampines - will have a stand-alone nursing room.

"On the rail network, all stations along the future Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) and Circle Line 6 will have family-friendly washrooms, comprising a diaper changing station, child-size toilet seat and barrier-free facilities, alongside the main toilets in the unpaid area," the LTA added.

To cater to young children and the elderly, dual-speed escalators and travellators will be implemented on all new rail lines starting from TEL during off-peak hours.

  • Changes for a more family-friendly Singapore public transport system

  • - Pram restraint system on buses

  • - Standalone nursing rooms in bus interchanges and integrated transport hubs

  • - Dual-speed escalators for young children and elderly on all new rail lines during off-peak hours

  • - Priority queues for elderly, pregnant women, disabled and parents with prams at MRT stations and bus interchanges where space permits by end of 2017

  • - Buses with three doors and two staircases to aid commuter flow

With this feature, escalators move at 0.75m per second during peak hours and 0.5m per second during off-peak hours.

"This feature will be progressively rolled out to the North-South and East-West Lines during SMRT's escalator refurbishment programme and eventually to existing escalators in North East Line, Circle Line and Downtown Line stations," the authority said, adding that it was working with rail operators to trial reduced escalator speeds at selected existing stations that are frequently used by children and the elderly.

There will also be priority queues for the elderly, pregnant women, people with disabilities and parents travelling with prams by the end of next year (2017).

These queues will also be implemented at existing bus interchanges where space permits, the LTA noted.

The authority is also looking to introduce buses with three doors and two staircases to aid commuter flow and encourage commuters to move to the rear of the bus. It is also working to improve the design of 800 bus-stops across the island by commissioning a study that will be completed by 2019.

And starting on Monday, the MyTransport.SG smartphone app will have a new "Find-My-Way" function that will allow 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.