Family-friendly transport panel includes parents

The new Family-Friendly Land Transport Advisory Panel had its first meeting yesterday.

The panel brought together people with diverse backgrounds - from academics to parents with young children. It will come up with ideas to make public transport more family-friendly, in line with Singapore's push towards a car-lite society.

The panel is led by co-chairs Richard Magnus, chairman of the Public Transport Council (PTC), and Sitoh Yih Pin, chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport.

It will consult stakeholders to better understand the needs of families, through a series of focus group discussions from July to September this year. An online survey with the Government's feedback unit Reach will also be conducted in August.

In addition to improving bus and train services, the panel will also look at other aspects, such as the use of personal mobility devices and the improvement of walkways, according to Mr Sitoh.

The panel's report is expected to be ready by the second quarter of next year and will be submitted to Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State for Transport.

Recommendations that are accepted will be incorporated into next year's Land Transport Master Plan, which lays out the Land Transport Authority's (LTA's) overall strategic direction and plans for the transport system. The masterplan is reviewed every five years.

In a joint statement yesterday, the LTA and PTC said the panel members include Ms Anita Fam, vice-president of the National Council of Social Service and chairman of the Third Enabling Masterplan Steering Committee, and Ms Rahayu Mahzam, Member of Parliament for Jurong GRC.

Two of the panel members are bloggers Lu Jia Hui, a full-time working mother with three children, and Mr Steven Teo, a father of four children.

Ms Lu said she will be taking the concerns and needs of parents to the panel.

She added that she would personally like to see better lighting and shelter in walkways that connect bus stops to train stations.

The formation of the new panel, which was first announced last week, follows recent initiatives aimed at making the transport system more friendly to seniors and children, such as the roll-out of a stroller restraint system trial on public buses on Thursday.

Said Mr Sitoh: "We aim to develop a comprehensive and inclusive framework to improve the public transport system in Singapore through the gathering of feedback from people from all walks of life."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2017, with the headline 'Family-friendly transport panel includes parents'. Print Edition | Subscribe