The letters by Miss Ong Si Min and Dr V. Subramaniam urging commuters to show greater appreciation for public transport workers are heartening (Timely reminder to show gratitude to those behind the scenes; and Polite gestures by commuters and bus drivers make for a happier ride; both published on Oct 24).
Some 22,000 public transport workers in Singapore work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that our public transport system works.
Many who are front-line workers strive to make commuters happy by patiently answering their questions and helping them with directions.
Customer service ambassador Vasaki Perumal can often be seen leading a man with visual disability and his guide dog to the bus stop, though her job scope mainly involves assisting passengers at the MRT station.
But they are often underappreciated.
Furthermore, these workers often bear the brunt of complaints from disgruntled commuters during train disruptions or breakdowns despite their best efforts to manage the situation.
The National Kindness Awards - Transport Gold Award, curated by the Singapore Kindness Movement in partnership with the public transport companies and supported by the Ministry of Transport and the Land Transport Authority, is an annual effort to recognise and appreciate public transport workers.
In its 19th year running, this year's award will be held on Nov 1 at the Istana to recognise many who had displayed exemplary service and gracious behaviour during their course of work.
As a run-up to the award ceremony, some 2,500 members of the public recently participated in writing little notes of appreciation to the bus captains.
A simple "good morning" or "thank you" can help motivate transport workers to deliver better service and allows them to feel their hard work is valued.
Public transport workers who help ensure a safe, comfortable and pleasant ride in our daily commute deserve to be valued and recognised.
Acknowledging and appreciating those who render services to us is the first step we can take to be greater as a nation of kindness.
Singapore Kindness Movement