An easier walk to Enabling Village

There are rest stops with seats along the sheltered walkway between Redhill MRT station and the Enabling Village. Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan painting the final stretch of the yellow lines along the walkway, with SG Enable chief executive Ku Geo
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan painting the final stretch of the yellow lines along the walkway, with SG Enable chief executive Ku Geok Boon (far right) and LTA group director for corporate communications Helen Lim. The LTA and SG Enable collaborated to improve the walking route between Redhill MRT station and Enabling Village for people with disabilities.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
There are rest stops with seats along the sheltered walkway between Redhill MRT station and the Enabling Village. Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan painting the final stretch of the yellow lines along the walkway, with SG Enable chief executive Ku Geo
There are rest stops with seats along the sheltered walkway between Redhill MRT station and the Enabling Village.

Path from MRT station now has shelter and features that help people with disabilities

Improvements have been made to a 400m stretch of pavement between Redhill MRT station and the Enabling Village in Lengkok Bahru to make it more accessible for those with mobility issues.

Among the improvements made are the construction of a sheltered walkway and rest stops with seats, as well as yellow lines marking the edge of the pavement for people with visual disabilities.

The work is a collaboration between the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SG Enable, an agency that helps people with disabilities.

The LTA also worked with SG Enable and current and former students of Pathlight School's Art Faculty to design signs to direct visitors to the Enabling Village, a community space dedicated to help people with disabilities integrate into society.

Mr Toh Chin Aik said the changes have helped him in his daily commute. Mr Toh , who works at the Enabling Village, is visually disabled.

Other improvements such as the introduction of a signalised traffic junction in front of the Enabling Village, complete with tactile tiles, have also helped, added the 50-year-old, who works in an administrative position.

"Previously, it could be quite a challenge to walk up the hill and figure out where to cross."

RAISING AWARENESS

These initiatives aim to raise awareness of the various types of disabilities and how the public can play an active part in understanding the needs of their fellow commuters.

LAND TRANSPORT AUTHORITY

These improvements were officially launched yesterday by Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

In March, Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng announced that Redhill station would serve as a test bed for "new mobility technologies and infrastructure designs" to help make public transport more accessible for those with disabilities.

More improvements to the walkway are expected to be made over time, said the LTA.

The authority is also working on several other initiatives, such as the use of stickers and videos at MRT stations, to raise awareness of accessibility elements such as wheelchair ramps and tactile paving for those with visual disabilities.

"These initiatives aim to raise awareness of the various types of disabilities and how the public can play an active part in understanding the needs of their fellow commuters," said the LTA.

The authority added that it is exploring the use of technology such as navigation apps and other mobility aids to help commuters with disabilities. These include tying up with German firm INIT to provide audio announcements on public buses for the benefit of passengers with special needs. The LTA will provide more details on other programmes at a later date.

In recent years, efforts to make the public transport system more accessible for all have been stepped up. In April, it was announced that open child strollers would be allowed on public buses, and in three years, all buses will be wheelchair-accessible.

In June, a panel was formed to study how public transport can be made easier for families with young children and the elderly.

The panel's findings will be ready in the second quarter of next year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2017, with the headline 'An easier walk to Enabling Village'. Print Edition | Subscribe