Building on the past three Heart Zones at our MRT stations, the Public Transport Council (PTC) has partnered Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH), Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SMRT Trains, with support from Nee Soon GRC Grassroots Organisations to implement the new Heart Zone @ Yishun.
Located at Yishun MRT station and at the lobby of KTPH, Heart Zone @ Yishun was launched today by Mr Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Transport & Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. Joining him were Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Adviser to Nee Soon GRC Grassroots Organisations, Mr Tan Kim Hong, PTC Chief Executive, Mrs Chew Kwee Tiang, KTPH Chief Executive Officer, Dr Richard Kwok, SMRT Trains Assistant Chief Executive Officer and Mr Yeo Teck Guan, LTA Senior Group Director, Public Transport.
The new Heart Zone @ Yishun is aimed at encouraging commuters to assist patients and visitors going to KTPH and Yishun Community Hospital. Commuters are encouraged to walk with or provide directional assistance to hospital patients or visitors trying to locate the shuttle bus pick- up point at Yishun MRT Station. To raise awareness of the initiative, signage has been placed prominently along the route between Yishun MRT station and the hospitals. Posters have also been displayed at selected bus stops near KTPH to encourage commuters to offer help to those who need it. (See Annex for more details).
Mr Baey Yam Keng said: “A well-designed public transport system requires more than just reliable hardware. Often, our commuting experience is also shaped by interactions with our fellow commuters. As we strive for more inclusive public transport, let us build a caring commuting culture and support one another. We all have a part to play. I hope the new Heart Zone @ Yishun will encourage commuters to step forward and help their fellow commuters, so that we can all enjoy more convenient and pleasant journeys.”
Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Adviser to Nee Soon GRC Grassroots Organisations, said: “By encouraging a caring culture, where commuters look out for the travel needs of one another, we are strengthening bonds in the Yishun community. The objectives of the Heart Zone are aligned with Nee Soon GRC Grassroots Organisations’ plan to deepen the caring and sharing culture, an important element of our plan to make Yishun more welcoming for all.”
Mrs Chew Kwee Tiang, Chief Executive Officer of KTPH, said: “At Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, we want to build close ties and a strong ‘gotong royong’ spirit between our staff and communities in Yishun. The Heart Zones are good platforms to do just that, where our staff and residents can show care and support for one another. At the same time, they help enhance convenience and safety for our patients when they visit us, particularly for the elderly, frail or those with limited mobility.”
Mr Lee Ling Wee, Chief Executive of SMRT Trains, said: “Heart Zone @ Yishun complements SMRT station staff’s service, and encourages Yishun commuters to help hospital patients and visitors who need assistance to get to their destinations. We are happy to join hands with our partners to build a community where its members care for one another.”
Mr Richard Magnus, PTC Chairman, said: “The new Heart Zone in Yishun is evidence of what we can achieve when we work with partners who share our conviction of encouraging a culture of care among commuters. While the Heart Zone is very much shaped by the inputs of the commuters and community through our conversations with them, we needed the strong support of our partners – including working with a shopping mall for the first time – to help facilitate better journeys for vulnerable commuters. As highlighted in SPS Baey’s poem, which will also feature in the Heart Zone, the spirit of mutual care within the community is key to make our push for a caring commuting culture a success.”
About Heart Zones
Introduced in 2017, Heart Zone is a co-creation initiative championed by PTC as part of the Caring SG Commuters movement. It aims to foster a caring commuter culture by creating platforms for commuters to lend a helping hand to fellow commuters who may need assistance during their public transport journey. KTPH is the fourth hospital, after Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, Singapore General Hospital and Tan Tock Seng Hospital, to partner PTC on the Heart Zone initiative. Going forward, PTC aims to introduce more Heart Zones at MRT stations near restructured hospitals.
About Caring SG Commuters
The “Caring SG Commuters” movement began in August 2017, when PTC launched its first two co-creation trials. The trials provided warm platforms for commuters to interact with fellow commuters, encouraging a caring commuting atmosphere to make everyone’s travel experience more pleasant, inclusive and welcoming.