SINGAPORE - Families with children will be allowed to board all public buses with open strollers from early next month.
Currently, commuters travelling with young children are required to fold up their strollers before boarding public buses.
"We hope this will make travelling with young children on public transport more convenient," said Second Transport Minister Ng Chee Meng in Parliament on Wednesday (March 8) during the Transport Ministry's Budget debate.
He added, however, that parents will have to take responsibility for the safety of their children, including holding on to the open strollers.
Mr Ng also spoke about other initiatives that the Transport Ministry was working on to make public transport more accessible to all commuters.
The future transport system, he said, will be more inclusive and must be designed "thoughtfully" to serve the needs of those with disabilities, families with young children and the elderly.
While initiatives such as making all MRT stations and bus interchanges barrier-free, and aiming to make all public buses wheelchair-accessible by 2020 have helped make public transport more accessible so far, Mr Ng said he agreed with Ms Sylvia Lim (Aljunied GRC) that there was room for improvement.
For example, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will begin testing audio announcements on buses, for the benefit of those with visual disabilities. The announcements will be added to the passenger information display system currently being tested on bus service 106.
The LTA will also collaborate with disabilities support agency SG Enable to use Redhill MRT station as a testbed for new mobility technologies and infrastructure to improve accessibility to public transport for those with disabilities.
Mr Ng noted that as the nearest station to the Enabling Village, the station is often used by disabled commuters.
"The journey from Redhill station to the Enabling Village is also a challenge for persons with disabilities, because of the hilly topography and the 400m distance," noted Mr Ng, adding that he has "challenged" LTA and SG Enable to improve this last-mile stretch for them.
Several other accessibility initiatives will also be expanded.
By the end of next year, 24 more pedestrian overhead bridges will be installed with lifts, in addition to the 23 already completed.
The Silver Zone programme, aimed at allowing elderly and disabled pedestrians to cross roads safely, will also be expanded to another 41 locations islandwide, up from the nine currently.