National Transport Workers' Union calls on public to help when trains break down

Commuters at City Hall MRT station during a train disruption, on July 7, 2015. The union has suggested building a community of commuter volunteers who can be trained as first responders to assist front-line workers during service disruptions or emerg
Commuters at City Hall MRT station during a train disruption, on July 7, 2015. The union has suggested building a community of commuter volunteers who can be trained as first responders to assist front-line workers during service disruptions or emergencies.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The public should be roped in to help when trains break down, says the National Transport Workers' Union (NTWU) in one of its recommendations for the next land transport masterplan.

The union said on Wednesday (Jan 16) that Singapore should "build a community of commuter volunteers - who can be trained as first responders to assist our front-line workers during service disruptions or emergencies".

That was one of about a dozen suggestions the union had for the Land Transport Master Plan 2040 advisory panel, which is currently gathering feedback to shape Singapore's land transport landscape in the coming decades.

The panel will consider feedback gathered and formulate recommendations to be submitted to the Government by mid-February.

Other recommendations from the NTWU include implementing more full-day bus lanes, rolling out dedicated lanes for cyclists, and restricting roadworks to off-peak hours. All these steps will allow buses to run more smoothly, the union said.

Reiterating a call from other quarters, the NTWU said transport infrastructure should be designed with ease of maintenance in mind.

It added that companies must ensure that workers get sufficient rest when devising new performance targets.

 
 

Companies should also emphasise training in the face of rapid technological changes.

The NTWU also said bus interchanges should have more parking spaces to cater to the expanded public bus fleet.

"A first-class transport system needs a first-class transport workforce," said NTWU executive secretary Melvin Yong, who is also an MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC.

He said the union's recommendations focus on "enhancing the work environment of our public transport workers, ensuring the safety and health of our workers, preparing them for transformation, as well as building greater commuter support so that we can all promote a better travelling environment for all road users".