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Govt looking into more senior-frendly public transport

The Land Transport Authority has conducted several focus group discussions on ways to make public transport more elderly-friendly.

Sharon See on 15 Nov 2014

The Straits Times


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SINGAPORE: The government is studying ways to make public transport more elderly-friendly, said Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo.


The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has conducted several focus group discussions to find out the seniors’ concerns.


"There are ways for us to make public transport more senior-friendly. For example, we can introduce anti-slip measures or install more seats along covered walkways or even within bus interchanges and MRT stations,” she said.


“Another very important feature that many seniors appreciate is lifts, especially at the passenger overhead bridges. We will study these possibilities and develop a comprehensive plan to make public transport more senior-friendly."


Mrs Teo said a senior-friendly public transport system will also allow more seniors to lead active lives. She was speaking on Saturday (Nov 15) at the groundbreaking ceremony of three stations on the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL).


The Bright Hill, Upper Thomson and Caldecott stations are part of Stage 2 of the TEL, which are on track to open by 2020. In all, the 22 stations on the Thomson stretch of TEL are expected be operational by 2021.


To build the underground stations and tunnels, there will be multiple stages of road diversions. The Land Transport Authority said construction is expected to take longer than usual due to the presence of super hard granite about 30 to 40 metres underground. The rock is so hard that the tunnel boring machine can only advance 10 centimetres per hour.


The project is further complicated by the proximity of residential areas and schools.


Tan Kok Jin from LTA said: “For some of the areas, we can put up noise barriers to block out the noise, but for high-rise buildings, we can't do it. We'll plan for all these, especially the boring part - where there'll be a lot of vibrations and all these things that make a lot of noise - we try to plan it in the day time. And we'll generally stop work at 10pm."


LTA said residents living near the three TEL stations in Bright Hill, Upper Thomson and Caldecott can expect road diversions and other inconveniences to greatly reduce two years before construction completes in 2020.


When Stage 2 of the line opens then, passengers travelling from the terminal station in Woodlands North can expect to reach Bright Hill in 25 minutes - which is half the time it takes today. 


Source: Channel News Asia © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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