Forum: Allow passengers who use mobility aids to ride buses for free

Recently, I saw a man with a disability who was using a personal mobility aid (PMA) alight from a public bus.

An electric ramp extended out of the bus allowed him to manoeuvre his PMA to exit.

What surprised me was that once out of the bus, the man frantically waved to the alighting passengers behind him, removed his lanyard and asked one of them to go back up the bus with his ez-link card to help him tap out.

The situation was similar when he later boarded another bus.

This time around, the bus had a manual ramp and the bus driver pulled it out manually.

The man boarded the bus, parked at the handicap spot and passed his ez-link card to the bus driver for tapping in.

I can imagine how difficult it must be to operate a mobility scooter up a ramp and have enough dexterity to tap an ez-link card on the way in.

Passengers like the man have to seek help from either other passengers or the bus driver.

I urge bus operators to look into allowing individuals with disabilities who use mobility scooters to ride buses for free.

The idea of an inclusive society is one where the special needs community can live regular lives without a constant need to ask others for help and hence reinforce the idea that they are less able.

For most of us, tapping an ez-link card does not require much effort. But for some of our fellow citizens, it is a real challenge.

Until our bus designs improve to the point where those who use PMAs can board or alight and pay their fares with ease, we should do something to help them.

Such a change would steer Singapore towards a more inclusive society and improve passenger experience for all.

Yvonne Loh Wan Yu

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