Minister for Transport, Mr Ong Ye Kung, unveiled the new Kent Ridge Appreciation Wall at Kent Ridge MRT station today. Created by students from the National University of Singapore Students’ Union (NUSSU), in partnership with the Caring SG Commuters Committee, the appreciation wall serves as a convenient platform for commuters to pen messages of appreciation to frontline workers, including public transport and healthcare workers, for their contributions during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Minister Ong also had the chance to virtually meet the public transport workers and staff from the nearby National University Hospital (NUH) who had earlier received our care packs comprising a hand sanitiser, F&B voucher and light snacks.
Engagements and Partnerships to Foster a Caring Commuting Culture
The Kent Ridge Appreciation Wall is one of several upcoming initiatives by the Caring SG Commuters Committee, which was formed in January 2020 to partner commuters and the community to transform Singapore’s public transport system into one that is more caring, welcoming and inclusive.
Since its formation, the committee – chaired by Mr Richard Magnus, who is also Chairman of the Public Transport Council, and comprising key industry players as well as the relevant government agencies – has been engaging commuters extensively through focus groups discussions to better understand the needs and concerns of different commuter groups.
Besides understanding commuters’ concerns, the committee will also work with the community and its partners to co-create initiatives and pilots that promote greater care and concern for one another during their public transport journeys. For example, the committee will continue to work with the public transport operators on an earlier pilot where commuters with invisible medical conditions can obtain a special sticker to alert fellow commuters that they require a seat.
Nominations open for Caring Commuter Award 2020
The committee will also organise the annual Caring Commuter Award to recognise and celebrate everyday heroes on public transport who have made a positive impact by caring for another commuter in this exceptionally challenging year. Nominations for the awards are now open and can be submitted via an online form (go.gov.sg/caringcommuter2020).
New Caring Commuter Portal and Campaign
The committee will introduce a one-stop online portal in September 2020. This portal will serve as a platform for commuters to share inspiring stories of care they have witnessed or received during their commute. The portal will also allow the committee to engage the public more effectively and hear commuters’ views on how we can continue to shape an inclusive, caring and gracious commuting culture together.
A new video campaign will also be launched from September to raise awareness of the challenges faced by commuters with special needs, such as Persons with Disabilities and commuters with invisible medical conditions, as well as public who want to help these commuters. Through a series of short films created based on real-life experiences, the committee hopes to build a sense of empathy amongst commuters, showcase the everyday heroes in our midst and encourage everyone to be caring to your fellow commuter. The video series will be rolled out monthly on the online portal as well as on social media.
Commuters can follow the Caring SG Commuters Facebook and Instagram pages to stay updated on the launch of the portal and the video series.
Mr Richard Magnus said: “The COVID-19 outbreak has presented an opportunity for Singaporeans to come together and display a strong collective fighting spirit through a heightened sense of empathy. We want to inspire Singaporeans through these heart-warming stories and encourage more commuters to step forward to show care for other commuters, especially those who may need more help in their daily journeys. We invite commuters to come on board this journey and create a transport system that is truly accessible to all.”
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 Mr Richard Magnus, who is concurrently the Chairman of PTC, and comprises key industry players, as well as representatives from relevant ministries and agencies.
The Committee will submit a report of its recommendation to the Minister for Transport by March 2021 on how to sustain a caring commuting culture for the long term.
About the Caring Commuter Award
The Caring Commuter Award recognises public transport commuters who have demonstrated acts of care to fellow commuters during their daily commute. Together with the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM), PTC jointly launched the inaugural Caring Commuter Award in July 2019. As a new category under the National Kindness Award – Transport Gold award ceremony held in October 2019, the Caring Commuter Award marked the first time that commuters were honoured at the ceremony. The National Kindness Award – Transport Gold 2020 award ceremony will be held in Q1 2021.
For more information, please visit: ptc.gov.sg/caring-sg-commuters or on social media at facebook.com/caringsgcommuters and instagram.com/caringsgcommuters.