‘Care Buses’ launched to raise awareness of the need for an inclusive commuting culture

Tampines Meridian Junior College students role-play a scenario helping wheelchair users at Pasir Ris bus interchange on Nov 9. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
The care bus, which features illustrations hand-drawn by CPASS students depicting an inclusive commuting culture on the exterior of Service 358. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Residents in Pasir Ris who use service 358 may well get to ride on buses featuring hand-drawn illustrations by three teenagers highlighting some challenges persons with disabilities face on public transport.

For 12 weeks, starting on Wednesday, two buses of service 358 will display the illustrations to raise awareness of the need for a caring and inclusive commuting culture as part of the Care Bus initiative.

The initiative was launched on Wednesday at Pasir Ris Bus Interchange, with one of the buses on display with the illustration of a bus captain wheeling a student up the vehicle, a commuter grappling with mobility issues and a student from the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore School (CPASS) flashing a helping hand card.

CPASS students Yan Jia Yi, 17, Aloysius Gan, 16, and Asher Das, 13, were the trio responsible for the illustrations.

Jia Yi, who drew the illustration of the bus captain helping the wheelchair-bound student, said she was inspired by her own experiences.

Said Jia Yi: “It’s not easy to push my wheelchair around on public transport.”

The Care Bus initiative was launched by bus operator Go-Ahead Singapore and the Caring SG Commuters Committee, in partnership with CPASS, with support from the Land Transport Authority and the Public Transport Council.

Go-Ahead Singapore managing director Andrew Thompson, whose daughter has epilepsy, says it is important for able commuters to understand and support people with disabilities.

Mr Thompson, whose daughter is now 22, said: “I’m very proud of the fact that she’s been able to gain confidence and use public transport independently... but I still worry about her.

“All those who uses public transport need to keep their eyes out and look to offer a helping hand when required, so everybody can use it with confidence.”

Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore School students Asher Das (left) and Yan Jia Yi with their hand-drawn illustrations depicting an inclusive commuting culture. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Located next to the CPASS campus, Tampines Meridian Junior College (TMJC) has been collaborating with the school on some initiatives over the years.

Prior to the launch on Wednesday, 80 students from TMJC undertook the Caring Commuter Champion Online Training Course and pledged to look out for CPASS students on public transport and lend a helping hand if required.

Ms Janet Ang, chairperson of the Caring SG Commuters Committee and Public Transport Council, said: “If everyone plays their part in building a welcoming and inclusive commuting culture, then we would be another step closer to a truly gracious Singapore.”

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