Have you, or someone you know, ever needed assistance on public transport but do not know how to ask for help?
The “Helping Hand” scheme aims to help those who require a little more assistance on public transport to signal their needs to others by using identifiers.
The “Helping Hand” Scheme
The “Helping Hand” scheme was piloted with the use of pocket-sized cards featuring the “May I have a seat please” message in November 2020 by Go-Ahead Singapore on selected bus routes of the operator. The “May I have a seat please” message under the scheme was subsequently adopted across the island in April 2023 after the successful pilot.
Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport Chee Hong Tat, and Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Transport & Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, Mr Baey Yam Keng, launched the expanded “Helping Hand” scheme at Tampines North Bus Interchange this month.
They were joined by representatives from Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore (CPAS), public transport operators and two of our Caring Commuter Champions at the event.
Partners of the “Helping Hand” scheme in front of a bus featuring the “Helping Hand” publicity
The “Helping Hand” scheme has been expanded to cater to the needs of more commuters and has been adopted by all public transport operators.
There are three identifiers for the scheme:
1. NEW: “Please alert me when I am approaching my stop”
The “Please alert me when I am approaching my stop” identifier assists commuters with visual impairment or dementia by alerting public transport staff and commuters to notify them when they are nearing their destination.
“Please alert me when I am approaching my stop” Helping Hand Identifier
2. NEW: “This is a wheelchair”
The “This is a wheelchair” identifier helps to alert public transport staff and other commuters that the paediatric wheelchairs, which may look like strollers, cannot be folded, and to render assistance where required.
Commuters are encouraged to give way to users of this identifier at wheelchair bays and priority queues at boarding berths and lifts.
“This is a wheelchair” Helping Hand Identifier
3. “May I have a seat please”
The “May I have a seat please” identifier enables commuters with non-visible health conditions or disabilities, such as chronic pain or arthritis, to alert public transport staff and other commuters to offer them a seat on public transport.
“May I have a seat please” Helping Hand Identifier
Lending a Helping Hand
During the launch, CPAS representatives demonstrated how the “This is a wheelchair” identifier could be used to facilitate the boarding of commuters on paediatric wheelchairs.
The teacher showed the “This is a wheelchair” identifier to the Bus Captain.
CPAS’ representative showing the “This is a wheelchair” identifier to the Bus Captain.
The Bus Captain then deployed the rear bus ramp and guided the CPAS representatives to board the bus.
GAS’ Bus Captain Mr Burhan Saputra ushering the way.
Where to Collect?
All “Helping Hand” identifiers can be collected from key public transport nodes. These include:
- Passenger Service Centres at MRT stations
- Bus interchanges
- Selected TransitLink Ticket Offices located at the following MRT stations (Ang Mo Kio, Chinatown, Clementi, Tampines, Woodlands, Yishun) and Bus Interchanges (Ang Mo Kio, Bedok and Jurong East)
Let’s look out for commuters wearing the “Helping Hand” identifier.
And if you received assistance, do show your appreciation by Giving Thanks!