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Panel submits over 20 proposals to make Singapore public transport more family-friendly

AN ADVISORY panel tasked with making public transport more family-friendly has recommended a number of additions including stroller restraints on buses and transportation applications that help parents locate nursing rooms.

Co-chaired by Public Transport Council chairman Richard Magnus and Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport chairman Sitoh Yih Pin, the panel had reached out to more 3,000 commuters. It took 10 months to come up with more than 20 recommendations which it submitted to Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min Monday.

They include allowing rear-door boarding of buses for people pushing open baby strollers; installing user-friendly stroller restraint systems; and training bus drivers to drive nearer to the kerb so as to make these "stepless" buses truly stepless.

The panel also recommended developing system maps and transport apps showing the availability of family-friendly features such as nursing rooms, changing facilities, exits with lift; and introducing more signage to guide parents to nursing rooms and diaper changing facilities.

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Also suggested - updating websites and transport apps to show scheduled and unscheduled lift maintenance; information on barrier-free taxi-stand and boarding/alighting points.

The panel also recommended that all new taxi-stands should be barrier-free.

Other recommendations include having a quiet room at MRT stations and bus interchanges for commuters with special needs; and building physical or virtual training facilities or a space "that allows all children with special needs to familiarise themselves with the transport system prior to travelling on public transport".

"Achieving a seamless, delightful, family-friendly transport system is a journey that the commuting public will take together with the Government and transport operators, as partners in transit," said Mr Magnus.

In a Facebook post, Dr Lam described the panel's report as "a labour of love".

"I was delighted to receive its report on their recommendations to make our transport network even more inclusive," he wrote.

"Singapore has invested much into the hardware of our public transport infrastructure and renewal works over the last few years, and today's Advisory Report on how to improve the heartware is very timely and appreciated."