Singapore’s LTA launches transport safety and accessibility initiatives
Posted: 5 March 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
The initiatives include projects that look to improve disabled accessibility, passenger safety and cycling priority.
Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) has recently announced a number of initiatives and projects which aim to improve the safety and inclusivity of the country’s transport network.
Wheelchair users and visually-impaired commuters will reportedly benefit from more accessible public buses with the expansion of a trial of mobile application with assistive technologies by the LTA.
In 2019, LTA collaborated with SG Enable and the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH) to trial a mobile application leveraging assistive technologies to help bus commuters with special needs. LTA, in partnership with INIT Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd, developed the “MAVIS” (Mobility Assistance for the Visually Impaired and Special Users) mobile application. The first phase of the trial, which ran from January to July 2019, involved three buses on Service 139 serving the Enabling Village, and Service 141 serving the SAVH.
Due to positive feedback from commuters, LTA will expand the trial to all buses on Services 139 and 141, for another three years starting progressively from fourth quarter of 2020.
The app is said to provide commuters with personalised journey guidance and assistance, such as the estimated time of arrival and notifications to board or alight buses.
LTA will be implementing 15 more Silver Zones to enhance road safety for senior pedestrians, progressively from 2021. Together with the 17 Silver Zones already completed, and another 18 slated for completion by 2021, this will reportedly bring the total number of Silver Zones islandwide to 50 by 2023.
The Silver Zone Scheme, first announced in 2014, is said to implement a series of traffic-calming measures and senior-friendly road safety features at areas with a high proportion of senior residents, and where there have been past accidents involving seniors.
LTA has announced that it will launch a one-year pilot for a new initiative called Priority Cabins on the North East Line (NEL) at the end of 2020.
Under this initiative, the two centre cabins on each NEL train will be designated as Priority Cabins for vulnerable commuters such as seniors, expectant mothers, wheelchair users, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and parents with young children.
Besides in-cabin signage and visual identifiers, commuters will be informed of the new initiative through video clips and station announcements which will be played at all NEL stations. SBST Customer Service Officers will also be on hand to help guide commuters.
LTA has announced that it will accelerate the building of cycling path networks and active mobility infrastructure across Singapore over the next 10 years under a new Islandwide Cycling Network (ICN) Programme. LTA’s preliminary estimate is that this will cost more than $1 billion. The programme will bring greater convenience and enhanced connectivity to active mobility device users, and improve safety for all path users, including pedestrians.
Under the ICN programme:
- By 2023, every HDB town will have cycling paths. Collectively, these will span around 800km, almost double the length of the current cycling path network
- By 2026, Singapore’s cycling path network will be expanded to 1,000km. Eight in 10 HDB residents will be within minutes away from their cycling path network
- By 2030, Singapore’s cycling path network will be expanded to 1,320km which will provide comprehensive connectivity for all active mobility users.
In addition to the ICN Programme, LTA will also continue to facilitate improvements to enhance safety on footpaths for all path users. These include the widening of footpaths, the installation of warning signs or markings and other speed calming measures to remind active mobility device users to take the necessary precautions in areas where there are more interactions with pedestrians.