The Straits Times
Published on Dec 15, 2012

Reserve train space for young families and the disabled


LAST Saturday afternoon, I shared the same carriage with five other baby prams in a packed train. Not only was it claustrophobic for the babies, but it was also difficult for their parents to navigate their way in and out of the train. I witnessed a family who missed their stop because it was too congested for them to exit in time.

With rising certificate of entitlement prices and taxi fares, many have to take public transport due to financial limitations. This has made travelling in Singapore an arduous task for many young families and the disabled. While I understand that transport companies face resource constraints in improving train frequency to raise service standards, more can be done to help young families and the disabled.

One way is to allocate a few train carriages for young families and the disabled on weekends. It would be easier for them to enter and exit the train, and also opens up more space for passengers in the other carriages.

As the population here grows and greys at the same time, the need to cater to young families, the elderly and the disabled increases. We can no longer adopt a one-size-fits-all solution for public transport. We should not always resort to a knee-jerk reaction that is often insufficient.

Transport companies need to explore new ways of catering to the needs of the various groups in Singapore.

Nicholas Guan