Sticker to help commuters signal need for a seat

Those with invisible medical conditions can use this sticker to let fellow commuters know that they require priority seating on trains and buses.
Those with invisible medical conditions can use this sticker to let fellow commuters know that they require priority seating on trains and buses. PHOTO: LTA

A new scheme has been launched to help commuters with invisible medical conditions be easily identified so that they may be offered priority seating on trains and public buses.

They will be able to obtain a sticker at all MRT stations, bus interchanges and TransitLink ticket offices that will let other commuters know that they require priority seating.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) initiative is aimed at aiding commuters with less visible medical conditions like chronic pain, heart disease and arthritis. Among others, those recovering from stroke or physical injuries or undergoing cancer treatment, users of prosthetic limbs and early-stage expectant mothers can also avail themselves of the sticker.

They can bring medical certificates or doctors' letters to the passenger information centre or passenger information office as evidence, if they feel comfortable doing so, the LTA said yesterday. The pilot will be reviewed by the middle of next year.

"Commuters have consistently demonstrated graciousness to the elderly or expectant mothers on public transport. However, there is another group of commuters whose conditions are often hidden and yet they need seats just as much," said Ms Priscilla Chan, LTA's deputy group director of public transport.

Singapore Kindness Movement general secretary William Wan welcomed the scheme, saying it will benefit "introverts who are afraid to speak out".

But some of those who the scheme targets remain wary of asking for a sticker.Among them is Ms Melody Yu, 24, who works in finance and was diagnosed with a heart condition at the age of 13. She said: "I'd probably ask for a sticker only if I was travelling over really long distances at peak hours. Some people (with invisible medical conditions) would probably be reluctant to be labelled and let everyone speculate about their medical conditions."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 02, 2019, with the headline 'Sticker to help commuters signal need for a seat'. Print Edition | Subscribe