The Straits Times
Published on Dec 25, 2012

Don't dismiss siting exit in rear of buses


I DISAGREE that if bus exit doors were to be placed at the back, steps would then be required, which would be an inconvenience for the growing number of elderly passengers ("Change bus design to change behaviour"; last Saturday).

There are two types of elderly public bus passengers: those who can walk, will walk and will be able to climb a couple of steps; and those who travel on wheelchairs.

It is worth recalling that in the 1970s, there were public buses with rear exit doors.

Given that the Government is providing $1.1 billion for the acquisition and maintenance costs of 550 new buses, perhaps the Land Transport Authority (LTA) could mandate that the new buses have rear exits, creating more standing room for passengers.

In siting the exits at the back of the buses, the position of the double-decker stairway would also have to be relocated.

Also, as bus drivers have to assist passengers on wheelchairs to board and alight, it would be logical to place the wheelchair holding space just behind the driver. This will shorten the time needed to help the elderly board and alight via the entrance, and help save time for other passengers as well.

Cheang Peng Wah