New features to make public transport more accessible for People with disabilities, such as bright yellow lines to mark out the edges of footpaths for those with low vision and benches to take rest breaks, are being tested around Redhill MRT Station, with similar installations expected at other transport nodes in time to come.
The protruding edge of steps along the sheltered walkway near the station have also been lined with yellow markings — while signs in vibrant colours have been added, pointing the way to the Enabling Village, an inclusive community space that caters to people with disabilities.
The new features, unveiled on Monday (Dec 11), come under a collaboration between the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SG Enable announced during the Transport Ministry’s Committee of Supply debate in March this year. Redhill MRT Station was “adopted” by SG Enable to be the testbed for infrastructure designs to make public transport more inclusive because of its proximity to the Enabling Village in Lengkok Bahru, which houses innovations centres for people with special needs, and a wheelchair-friendly supermarket, among others.
The LTA said there are plans to install similar features at other MRT stations, but did not specify when they will be introduced. The authority is looking at piloting new assistive technologies, such as navigation apps, aids and mobility devices to help people with disabilities with their daily commute, but said details of these trials will be announced at a later date.
Mr Toh Chin Aik, who works at the Enabling Village, said the edge markings painted on the footpath and nosed steps along the 400m-long sheltered walkway are useful for people with low vision, such as himself.
“There aren’t many fences (surrounding) the (Enabling Village), it’s not an institutionalized place … the first time I came here, I had to walk with a colleague and (trace my steps) backwards, (so as) to know the way to the MRT station,” said Mr Toh, 50, who works in an administrative role.
“I have become quite dependent on the markings … They are a good feature as it tells people like us with low vision that beyond the yellow line is a drop … and I know not to veer off the path,” he added.
Mr Toh said the new signage – designed by students and alumni of Pathlight School’s The Art Faculty, which promotes artwork and merchandise of youth with autism and related challenges – also help others find their way to the Enabling Village.
“Many persons with disabilities come here for workshops and classes, and I used to tell them to just “walk up the hill”. But they would always ask, ‘Where exactly do I have to go?’”, said Mr Toh. “Now, I can tell them to look out for the signage instead.”