Singapore, 9 November 2022 – To foster a more caring and inclusive commuting culture, Go-Ahead Singapore and Caring SG Commuters Committee, in partnership with the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore School (CPASS), today launched a CARE Bus initiative to raise public awareness on the needs and challenges faced by persons with disabilities (e.g., cerebral palsy) during their public transport commute as part of the Caring SG Commuters movement. The initiative is supported by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Public Transport Council (PTC).
Ms Janet Ang, Chairperson of PTC and Chairperson for Caring SG Commuters Committee, Mrs Koh-Lim Ai Lay, School Principal at CPASS, students and teachers from both CPASS and Tampines Meridian Junior College (TMJC), representatives from LTA, PTC, and the Caring SG Commuters Committee, were present at the launch event at the Pasir Ris Bus Interchange operated by Go-Ahead Singapore.
As part of the initiative, illustrations hand drawn by CPASS students depicting a caring and inclusive commuting culture – where commuters and bus captains extend their helping hands to those who require assistance during their journey – will be displayed on the exterior of Service 358 which serves the Pasir Ris precinct, including CPASS, as well as on bus stop displays opposite and outside of CPASS.
The illustrations are adapted from the artworks designed by three CPASS students – 17-year-old Yan Jia Yi, 16-year-old Aloysius Gan, and 13-year-old Asher Das.
Jia Yi’s design featured a bus captain wheeling a student up the bus, and Aloysius illustrated a CPASS student showing a helping hand card to the bus captain, while Asher drew a commuter with mobility impairment navigating his way in the bus. The illustrations are accompanied by speech bubbles such as “May I help you up the bus?”, “Thank you for giving me a space to move around.”, and “Even though I use a mobility aid, I think and feel the same as everyone else.”.
Prior to the launch, close to 40 students from Tampines Meridian Junior College (TMJC) had undergone an empathy workshop conducted by both SG Enable and Temasek Polytechnic’s SENvocates (an interest group in Temasek Polytechnic dedicated to advocating for special education needs/disabilities), to better equip themselves with the knowledge and skills to help other commuters correctly and confidently. They had pledged to look out for CPASS commuters and some of them also took part in the launch today.
Mr Andrew Thompson, Managing Director of Go-Ahead Singapore, said: “Go-Ahead Singapore is committed to taking care of every journey. We are delighted to work with Caring SG Commuters Committee and Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore School on this meaningful initiative. It encourages respect and assistance to commuters who need more care and attention, in step with Singapore’s vision of a caring and inclusive public transport system. This initiative also provides a platform for students with special needs to showcase their talent.”
Mrs Koh-Lim Ai Lay, School Principal at CPASS, stated: "Raising public awareness opens new doors for people with special needs when they navigate in public spaces."
Commenting on the initiative, Ms Janet Ang, Chairperson of PTC and Chairperson for Caring SG Commuters Committee, said: “We are heartened by the opportunity to work with such a diverse group of partners in today’s launch of Go-Ahead Singapore’s first CARE Bus. We are also glad to have the support of Go-Ahead Singapore, Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore School, and Tampines Meridian Junior College in our journey to build a more caring commuting culture. The artwork by students from Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore School and the commitment by students from Tampines Meridian Junior College represent the perfect marriage of ‘heart-ware’ and ‘heart work’. We hope that everyone can join us in continuing to ‘Give Time, Give Care, Give a Hand and Give Thanks’ to our fellow commuters. Together, we can make every ride joyful and purposeful for all”
CPASS student Jia Yi said: “I enjoy art as it helps me express myself. It gives me great satisfaction to see my artwork being featured on the bus.”
Besides the CARE Bus initiative, Go-Ahead Singapore has also rolled out initiatives that support inclusion such as a designated Heart Zone in the bus interchange where people can sit down to rest and seek help when required, a vicinity map by a local artist, and a community wall that displays the works of artists with disabilities.
High-resolution photos from the CARE Bus Initiative launch can be downloaded here.
About Go-Ahead Singapore
Go-Ahead Singapore is a leading local public transport provider and a subsidiary of the Go-Ahead Group, a UK transport operator which enables more than one billion journeys a year. With over three decades of international experience, the organisation resonates and responds quickly to the changing needs of the Singapore market. Go-Ahead Singapore adapts sustainable business practices to contribute towards sustainability over the long term.
About Caring SG Commuters Committee
The Caring SG Commuters Committee was set up in January 2020 with the mandate to work with commuters and the community to transform Singapore’s public transport system into one that is more caring, welcoming and inclusive. It is chaired by Ms Janet Ang, who is concurrently the Chairperson of PTC, and comprises key industry players, as well as representatives from relevant ministries and agencies.
About Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore School (CPASS)
The Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore School (CPASS) is a double-session Special Education (SPED) school serving students with moderate to severe multiple disabilities. It offers the SPED Curriculum as recommended by the Ministry of Education. CPASS offers three different programmes, i.e., the Academic Programme (leading to the mainstream Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE)), the Functional Programme, and the High Support Programme. Students are categorised into two levels, according to their ages. The Junior Level is for students between 7 years old and 12 years old, and the Senior Level, 13 years old and 18 years old. Through its mission of equipping its students with a holistic education to live meaningfully, learn continuously and work productively, they learn and develop in the six domains, i.e., Social-Emotional, Academic (Language & Numeracy), Daily Living, Vocational, Physical Education and Arts.