MP tests disabled-friendly temporary Woodlands Bus Interchange - in a wheelchair

Mr Amrin Amin tried the new ramp at the temporary Woodlands Bus Interchange while on a wheelchair. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/AMRIN AMIN

SINGAPORE - The temporary Woodlands Bus Interchange will be disabled-friendly, as Member of Parliament Amrin Amin confirmed for himself on Monday morning - in a wheelchair.

Mr Amrin, who is Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and an MP for Sembawang GRC where the interchange is located, visited the site with members of the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped and the Handicaps Welfare Association.

The visitors, several in wheelchairs and others with canes, boarded and alighted buses, tried the handicapped toilets and went up the ramp into the interchange, Mr Amrin said in a Facebook post.

"I found wheeling up the ramp the hardest part," he wrote.

"Simple everyday things can be very trying. I have a newfound and profound respect for our friends with disabilities," he added.

Mr Amrin told The Straits Times that he had the idea of going about on a wheelchair when SMRT was briefing him about the temporary interchange, which will operate from March 12, as the current interchange is to be refurbished.

"They were saying how it would be disabled-friendly, so I said: Do you mind if I try it out on a wheelchair?" he recalled.

"I thought it would be good to experience it firsthand and put myself in their shoes," he said. He discovered, forinstance, how tiring it can be to go up a long ramp in a wheelchair - something which could be kept in mind when designing wheelchair access, he added.

Besides features such as ramps and tactile paving to help the visually impaired find their way, the temporary interchange also has priority queue zones at boarding areas.

These zones, with seats, are meant for seniors, pregnant women and people with disabilities.

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