President Halimah Yacob (fourth from left) was joined by Minister for Transport S Iswaran (fifth from left), Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Transport Baey Yam Keng (second from left) and Caring SG Commuters Committee Chairman Richard Magnus (seventh from left) as they unveiled the Four Caring Norms at the inaugural launch of Caring Commuter Week 2021.
“A small act of civic-mindedness can multiply and have a far-reaching influence on every commuter,” President Halimah Yacob said when she launched the Caring Commuter Week (CCW) 2021 on 27 November 2021.
Organised by the Caring SG Commuters Committee, CCW is an activity-filled week to promote care and inclusivity on public transport and will last until 5 December.
Collaborating for a Caring Commuter Journey
Testament to the need for community partnerships and the involvement of commuters at large in creating a caring commuting culture, the event showcased some key ground-up collaborations like Republic Polytechnic’s Project CompassioNATION and tote bag design featuring the Four Caring Norms with Singapore Fashion Runway.
During his opening remarks at the launch event, Minister for Transport, Mr S Iswaran praised these efforts: “It is only by collaborating closely with the community that we can build a culture where showing care for fellow commuters becomes a way of life.”
The Caring Commuter Journey Report
Another highlight was the launch of “Our Caring Commuting Journey” report, a result of months of engagement with over 2,000 commuters from all walks of life to learn more about their commuting needs.
Insights from the report have been carried forward to the CCW’s three-pronged approach of Informing, Involving and Inspiring the community.
Encouraging the Four Caring Norms
Four Caring Norms were promoted to foster a more caring commuting culture: “Give Time”, “Give Care”, “Give a Hand” and “Give Thanks”.
When asked about the thinking behind the Four Caring Norms, Chairman of the Caring SG Commuters Committee Mr Richard Magnus explained: “These caring norms came about when commuters shared the need to have knowledge on how to help others, show empathy and appreciation.”
He added that public transport staff and commuters who have demonstrated caring behaviour were also recognised at the Transport Gold and Caring Commuter Award 2021 held on 1 December 2021.
Building a Culture of Inclusion
Mr Magnus added that he was “heartened by the sense of ownership” displayed by public transport operators, Go Ahead Singapore, SBS Transit, SMRT and Tower Transit in their collaboration with various social service agencies to develop a series of educational exhibitions.
Celebrating the caring commuter spirit, these exhibitions aim to raise awareness on the needs of vulnerable commuters, like those with autism, dementia, visual or physical impairments, and how one can assist.
The exhibitions are at Pasir Ris and Jurong East Bus Interchanges, as well as Toa Payoh and Woodlands Integrated Transport Hubs.
Aligned with the theme of inclusivity, three more Heart Zones were launched to facilitate commuters to lend assistance to others.
“Together, we can play our part to build a more caring culture and make a positive difference in someone else’s commuting experience,” Mr Magnus concluded.