Dear PM Lee, Minister Khaw and the Ministry of Transport,
This is my second open letter appealing for the permission of opened strollers on wheelchair-accessible buses. My first open letter was addressed to the Ministry of Transport and I highlighted the issues that parents who travel by bus face when they have to close the strollers and carry their children and bags on board a bus. It can be difficult and dangerous to have to balance everything in a moving bus with the limited amount of leg space.
While I understand the possible dangers that both passengers and children in opened strollers face should an opened strollers be allows on a wheelchair-accessible bus, having a parent balance a closed stroller, a young child and a bag or two in a moving bus does not make it less dangerous.
When Minister Khaw came in as Minister of Transport after GE2015, I decided to send him a message via Facebook, so as to bring my letter to his attention. Below is my exchange with whoever manages Minister Khaw’s Facebook page:
After my exchange with the page admin for Minister Khaw, I received an email from the office of the Ministry of Transport:
With that, I waited for the replies from the bus companies, SMRT and SBS.
Below is my exchange with SMRT:
I appreciate that Ms Lourdes made an effort to raise my concerns to the relevant departments in SMRT.
Below is my exchange with SBS:
Recently, DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam said to public servants at the Public Service Leadership dinner that “First, we must walk in the shoes of citizens from different walks of life, whenever we can, both in the course of the public officer’s work and when we get a chance to volunteer on the ground.”
From news reports, I see that Minister Khaw has been taking the MRT, perhaps in an attempt to understand what commuters go through on a daily basis. I applaud his efforts and his willingness to solve MRT issues. At the same time, I would also like to invite Minister Khaw to take a bus with a young child while trying to balance a closed stroller and a bag or two in his arms. The best is if he can try this alone. By doing that, he will get to experience what many parents experience on a daily dangers – the daunting task of protecting a young child while balancing a closed stroller and bags in limited leg space on a moving bus.
A Mr Daniel Yap wrote to local paper Today and highlighted the same things that are my concerns too.
PM Lee and Minister Khaw, in the midst of your busy schedule, I sincerely hope that you will look into this because this concerns many young families in Singapore. If you need a reference, you can look at how cities like London and Dublin are doing this.