Commuting with Allan Cai

Aug 18, 2023, 12:10 PM

18 Aug 2023

Title : Commuting with Allan Cai
Abstract : We followed Allan on his commute and learnt about his experience on public transport. Read more about his journey now.

Meet Allan Cai, a remarkable individual with Down syndrome who commutes on buses and trains almost every day to attend enrichment programmes at Down Syndrome Association (Singapore) (DSA) and to work. Allan's journey on public transport exemplifies the power of his independence. He also shared in the article below about the kindness he received from commuters in Singapore.


While there were challenges when commuting on public transport, Allan has successfully learnt how to commute independently in two years, with his mother’s guidance. He proudly shared, "I go to work by myself by bus and MRT, and then I go home by bus, MRT, and bus again. On the days I do not work, like Fridays, I go to the YMCA for a dance class by bus and MRT. I travel to various places, such as DSA, by myself." Allan's ability to navigate different modes of public transport is a demonstration of his determination and adaptability.


Allan Cai (1)
Allan waiting at the bus stop for the bus.
Source: Public Transport Council


Meeting Caring Commuter


During his commutes, Allan encountered numerous caring individuals who made his journey more comfortable and enjoyable. Recalling an unforgettable experience, he said, "One day, I was rushing to chase the bus. When a lady saw me, she asked the bus captain to wait for me.” He was especially grateful for the lady’s caring act as he would have been late for work if he had missed the bus. Such encounters reaffirmed Allan's belief that empathy exists in Singapore.


Allan's Commuting Experience


Allan Cai (2)
Allan waits to board the MRT.
Source: Public Transport Council


While Allan strives for independence, he faced challenges occasionally during his regular commutes. The crowded nature of peak-hour travel can be overwhelming, making it harder for him to maintain balance. Expressing his gratitude for all acts of care, he shared that "I do not need assistance most of the time. But when the MRT or bus is crowded during peak hours, I feel happy if people can give me a seat because I might lose my balance when other commuters are getting off the MRT or bus." On how other commuters can help commuters like him, he suggests that commuters can Give Time to allow him to board trains or buses and walk to his seat.


Allan encourages fellow commuters in Singapore to be aware of those in need and extend a helping hand. A simple act of offering a seat or waiting a moment longer for someone with different abilities can make a significant difference in their day.



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