SINGAPORE – Wheelchair customers can now familiarise themselves with wheelchair-friendly journey routes below a brand new programme by transport operator SBS Transit.

Below the Journey Buddy programme launched on Monday, wheelchair customers can join as much as three free periods on navigate a journey route with the assistance of a journey buddy.

The journey buddies, who’re SBS Transit workers, will information the passenger all through the journey and share journey ideas with them corresponding to finding the lifts at a prepare station or discovering the correct cabin for wheelchair customers.

Journey buddies will meet the passengers at their most popular beginning bus cease, bus interchange or prepare station, and information her or him by means of the route. Relying on the route, passengers could also be guided by a couple of journey buddy all through the journey.

A sector of the journey should embrace travelling on any SBS Transit bus or prepare service, together with the North East Line (NEL), Downtown Line and Sengkang-Punggol LRT service.

One beneficiary of the programme is a wheelchair person who wished to be referred to as Mr H.B. Tan.

The 57-year-old mentioned a spinal wire damage in 2020 left him depending on a wheelchair. Since then, he added, “getting onto a bus or a prepare all of a sudden grew to become so unfamiliar to me, and it’s a problem for me as a result of I’m frightened of boarding a bus or prepare with out assist”.

He added: “However with this programme, I get a good suggestion of get to the respective stations and obtain steerage from journey buddies to, as an illustration, inform me the place the carry is or the correct cabin within the prepare the place I can park my wheelchair safely.”

Mr Tan, who’s unemployed, has been familiarising himself together with his common routes, together with commuting from his house in Jurong to Alexandra Hospital in Queenstown.

The programme additionally makes it simpler for Mr Tan to modify from non-public transport to public transport. Presently, he will get round by driving, however his spouse has to assist him together with his wheelchair.

“Once I become old, I’ll not have the ability to drive any extra, so I wished to take this chance to get used to taking public transport by myself,” he mentioned. 

Mr Jeffrey Sim, chief government of SBS Transit Rail, mentioned the programme was designed to not solely assist anxious wheelchair passengers allay their fears, but in addition to assist caregivers really feel assured when these passengers take public transport on their very own. 

He added that a number of the journey buddies are individuals with disabilities who can empathise with the customers. There are at the moment about 30 journey buddies, together with 4 with disabilities. 


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