The Caring SG Commuters Committee, the Land Transport Authority (LTA), and the Public Transport Council (PTC), in partnership with the National Transport Workers’ Union (NTWU) and public transport operators (PTOs), held two concurrent events dedicated to our transport workers and commuters today. Both were held at the integrated lifestyle hub One Punggol.
(i) Public Transport Workers Appreciation (PTWA) Day: This annual event, recognises and shows appreciation to our approximately 22,000 public transport workers who make our daily commute safe, smooth and reliable.
(ii) Caring Carnival: Held in conjunction with this year’s Caring Commuter Week, the one-day Carnival aims to promote a gracious and caring commuting culture by recognising commuters who have gone out of their way to show care to others on their public transport journeys.
2. Mr Chee Hong Tat, Acting Minister for Transport and Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Finance, was the Guest-of-Honour at the event and presented the Caring Commuter Awards as well as tokens of appreciation to our public transport workers. Mr Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Transport & Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, was also in attendance and handed out certificates to a new category of Caring Commuter Champions.
Honouring Our Everyday Heroes
3. LTA, NTWU and PTOs commemorated PTWA this year with the theme “Caring for our Public Transport Workers and Commuters”. Representatives from the public transport workforce received tokens of appreciation in recognition of their collective hard work and dedication.
4. Throughout this week, PTOs provided healthy meals for all public transport workers, while NTWU offered complimentary beverages at their canteens located at transport nodes. For the months of November and December, PT workers will also enjoy promotions or gifts from partnering merchants such as Gardenia, Guardian, Harvey Norman, Mandai Wildlife Group, Sheng Siong, Singapore Flyer, and shops under Stellar Lifestyle Pte Ltd.
5. Meanwhile, commuters had the opportunity to experience being a public transport worker at activity booths featuring virtual reality equipment as well as a bus simulator at the Carnival. Earlier this year, LTA also worked with PTOs to organise bus and rail depot tours for students from various schools, such as Ai Tong Primary School, Fairfield Methodist School, My Little Gems Preschool, Rainbow Centre, St Margaret’s Primary School and various Polytechnics. These tours educate students on the different roles contributing to the smooth and safe operation of our public bus and rail network.
Caring Commuter Week 2023
6. This year’s Caring Commuter Week, with the theme ‘Joyful Rides for All’, runs from 4 – 10 November. Organised by the Caring SG Commuters Committee, a key highlight was the presentation of the Caring Commuter Awards to ten individuals recognised for seven caring acts at the Caring Carnival. This is the third Caring Commuter Week since the introduction of the event in 2021.
7. The Richard Magnus Award for the Outstanding Caring Commuter was awarded to Mr Kelvin Tan Jiong Hao and Mr Lee Wei Sheng. Both of them stepped forward to assist station staff at Canberra MRT Station by taking turns to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on a man who had collapsed, until paramedics arrived. The man has since recovered. For more details on the other Award winners, please refer to PTC’s factsheet on the Caring Commuter Award.
8. This year also saw the introduction of a new “Inspirer” category for the Caring Commuter Champions. This award recognises individuals for promoting the Caring Commuter movement in their workplace or community and actively taking part in activities organised by the Caring SG Commuters Committee. Five Caring Commuter Champions (Inspirer) were presented with certificates.
9. As part of the Caring Carnival, members of public can also learn more about how they can support those with different disabilities, such as autism, hearing loss and visual impairment, through talks conducted by those living with these special needs.
10. In addition, the Caring SG Commuters Committee will be organising the CARE Ride @ South West event on 8 November 2023. The CARE Ride is an initiative that has been adopted by the South West Community Development Council’s ‘Adopt @ South West’ community programme. It was also adopted by Lianhua Primary School (LHPS) last year, as part of their ‘Values-in-Action’ programme. CARE Ride @ South West 2023, in partnership with SMRT Trains, will be conducted on a MRT train for the first time this year. 36 Primary Six students from LHPS, together with youth volunteers from both the Bukit Gombak EAGLES Interact Club and Rotaract Club of Bukit Gombak, would be accompanying seniors residing in the Hillgrove precinct on a train ride from Jurong East MRT Station to Bukit Gombak MRT Station. CARE Ride aims to encourage inter-generational bonding among commuters. CARE Ride also encourages younger commuters to be more aware and mindful of senior commuters in their midst, and to be more empathetic and willing to help others, making public transport journeys more purposeful and joyful for all.
11. Participants at CARE Ride will be joined by SPS Baey; who will also launch the Young Caring Commuter Champion booklets. Developed in partnership with students from the Singapore Polytechnic Media, Arts and Design School, the booklets aim to inculcate a culture of care from a young age, through stories packed with age-appropriate tips for primary school students. The booklet can be downloaded free on the Caring SG Commuters portal. To find out more about the Caring SG Commuters initiatives and how to take part, please visit the Caring SG Commuters Portal.
12. Public transport operators and their partners will also be organising exhibitions at various public transport nodes to raise awareness about commuters with different needs and how all commuters can play their part. For more details on the activities under Caring Commuter Week 2023, please refer to Annex B.
13. Caring Commuter Week is the culmination of a wide range of other activities and events organised throughout the year to foster a caring commuting culture on public transport. The “All Aboard a Joyful Ride” Roving Exhibition is on display from September to November 2023. Making stops at five public libraries, the exhibition highlights the experiences of those with special needs and aims to raise awareness on how fellow commuters can offer assistance. The “I Can Be A Caring Commuter Hero!” Art Competition was conducted from July to September 2023. Open to children aged 7 to 12 years old, it encouraged aspiring young artists to express how commuters can show care for others while using public transport. A total of 835 entries were received and the top 20 winning art pieces will be exhibited during Caring Commuter Week and at 5 MRT stations island-wide – Beauty World, Buona Vista, Newton, Hougang and Paya Lebar – from January 2024 onwards.
ANNEX A & B – Key Collaterals for Caring Commuter Week 2023, and Caring Commuter Week 2023 activities