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SMRT launches its first wheelchair-accessible bus services June 10, 2009

Posted by hafizbam in SMRT, Something New, Transport Events.
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The first wheelchair-accessible SMRT bus to hit the roads - SMB1H.

The first wheelchair-accessible SMRT bus to hit the roads - SMB1H.

After nearly a year after its first wheelchair-accessible Mercedes Benz bus hit the streets, SMRT Buses has finally officially declared seven of its bus services to be wheelchair-accessible from 1 June 2009.

The services are:
171 – Yishun to Marina Centre
172 – Choa Chu Kang to Boon Lay
189 – Bukit Batok to Kent Ridge
307 – Choa Chu Kang feeder service
811 – Yishun feeder service
851 – Yishun to Bukit Merah
945 – Bukit Batok feeder service

Rectification works to infrastructure were cited for the delay in launching such services (this includes special boarding berths at bus interchanges for the wheelchair-bound). Perhaps the most useful services to be converted in this initial batch is service 851 which serves a substantial number or elderly passengers as well as plenty of medical facilities. And the feeder bus services which can finally enable a wheelchair-bound commuter getting off the wheelchair-accessible train to actually reach home.

More information here.

SMRT seems to have gone a little further than rival SBS Transit in this area. Wheelchair-accessible buses have clear information stickers pasted at prominent locations throughout the bus as well as bus interchanges. But it could still face the problem of arising confusion when a wheelchair-accessible bus is deployed on a non wheelchair-accessible route on a temporary basis, no thanks to the blue wheelchair logo displayed prominently at the front of the bus.

Nonetheless, its announcement of another batch of 66 similar wheelchair-accessible buses to be rolled out by this year is definitely something to look forward to.

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