4 June 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SMRT enhances inclusive service training for frontline staff at new training centre in Woodlands Integrated Transport Hub
- As part of SMRT’s continual efforts to constantly improve service excellence for all commuters, SMRT Buses has enhanced its inclusive service delivery training for its frontline staff, such as bus captains and interchange managers. The public transport operator is collaborating with two additional social service agencies to train its staff to better assist commuters with special needs. It is also launching a first-in-Singapore trial of an app to help visually handicapped commuters navigate the new Woodlands Integrated Transport Hub (WITH). These initiatives are launched as part of the opening of WITH.
- SMRT has partnered Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) and SPD to train SMRT frontline staff to assist the intellectually disabled, as well as commuters with other disabilities. With training by MINDS staff, SMRT’s frontline staff will learn how to apply basic communication strategies, such as how to help a person with intellectual disability who is agitated. Training by SPD will educate SMRT Buses’ staff on interacting with commuters with different disabilities, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
- To assist visually handicapped commuters navigate WITH, SMRT Buses has launched a first-in-Singapore trial of the NaviLens app. The app, which has been launched in Barcelona and New York, is easy to use and provides audio assistance to a visually handicapped commuter when he or she points a mobile phone camera in the general direction of a coloured tag. The coloured tags are strategically placed at various locations of WITH and the NaviLens App can capture it from a long distance at any angle and without the need to focus the camera lens.
- Since SMRT Buses launched its inclusive service delivery training centre in 2019, more than 700 staff have been trained in SMRT Buses. The centre is now located at WITH. In 2019, we collaborated with the Agency for Integrated Care, Alzheimer’s Disease Association (ADA), Guide Dogs Singapore (GDS), Handicaps Welfare Association (HWA), and Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH) to enhance the exchange of information and knowledge between partners, by tapping on each other’s experience and expertise to enhance inclusive service delivery in the public transport network.
- WITH is a part of Go-To SMRT’s network of 17 MRT stations and six bus interchanges with enhanced commuter services and facilities to better serve the community. It is also listed by AIC as a Dementia Go-To Point (GTP).
- Mr Vincent Gay, Deputy Head, SMRT Buses, said: “The enhancement of our inclusive service delivery training partnerships demonstrates SMRT’s WeCare ethos and commitment to help commuters feel safer and more assured when they travel in our network, whatever their needs may be. We look forward to working with all of our inclusive service delivery training partners at WITH to better serve commuters of diverse needs.”
- Mr Kelvin Koh, CEO, Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS), said: “Not all disabilities are visible especially for persons with intellectual disability who may struggle with communications. We would like to thank SMRT for their partnership with MINDS to train, and co-develop training aids for bus captains and customer service officers to better understand and support persons with intellectual disabilities and their caregivers, on their buses and at the Interchange who may need help. This is a very clear demonstration of SMRT’s leadership in advancing the inclusion movement in a very concrete and meaningful way."
- Mr Abhimanyau Pal, CEO, SPD, said: “We are heartened by SMRT’s efforts to be a caring and inclusive public transport operator to provide a better travel experience for everyone. Through our partnership and collective efforts, we are paving the way towards building a more inclusive Singapore.”
- The new WITH will be operational from Sunday, 13 June 2021. It will be the largest integrated transport hub in Singapore, and will connect to Causeway Point shopping centre, the North-South MRT Line and the Thomson-East Coast MRT Line. 25 out of the 29 bus services that currently operate from Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange (WTBI) will operate from the Woodlands Integrated Transport Hub (WITH). The remaining 4 services - Services 925/925M, 950, 961/961M and 965 - will continue to operate from WTBI which is just next to WITH. There is no change to the stopping points of any of the bus services. Please refer to the poster in the annex for further details.
For more information, please refer to the factsheet here and the poster here.
About SMRT Roads
SMRT Road Holdings Ltd is one of Singapore’s major public and private transport operators. A subsidiary of SMRT Corporation Ltd, we operate and maintain buses, taxis, and a private fleet of vehicles. We constantly develop innovative mobility solutions to serve commuters’ evolving transportation needs, with the aspiration to export our expertise in operations, maintenance, and service overseas.
We have set our core values to be Integrity, Service and Safety, and Excellence. SMRT Road is committed to provide safe, reliable and comfortable service for our commuters.
About the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS)
MINDS has been serving persons with intellectual disabilities (PWIDs) across their entire lifespan in the past 59 years. Helping and enhancing the quality of life of over 3,000 PWIDs annually, and also caring for and supporting of the families and caregivers of PWIDs. Today, with a close to 800-strong workforce supported by passionate volunteers, MINDS runs over 30 facilities, services and programmes island-wide.
MINDS operates 4 Special Education Schools, 3 Employment Development Centres, 8 Training and Development Centres, a Residential Home for Adults, a Children’s Home, a Hostel, a Caregivers Support Services Centre, a Special Student Care Centre, and a Developmental Disabilities Medical Clinic, and offers a comprehensive range of Community-base Support Services such as Appropriate Adults for Persons with Mental Disabilities (AAPMD), Disabilities Case Management Programme (DCMP), Future Care Planning (FCP), Me Too! Club (MTC) and Outreach and Alumni Services. MINDS MYG, a volunteer subsidiary wing of MINDS supplements these offerings with additional client and caregiver support through their various projects.
These efforts are supported by MINDS Institute which specialises in the research and development of holistic and sustainable approaches to nurturing and developing PWIDs. To learn more, visit http://www.minds.org.sg/.
Established in 1964, SPD is a charity in Singapore that seeks to enable people with disabilities of all ages to be as independent and self-reliant as possible. Today, the pioneer in serving people with physical disabilities also provides therapy, early intervention, employment and educational support, as well as case management and social support to help people with different disabilities so that they can participate in school, work and daily life within mainstream society.
For more information, please visit www.spd.org.sg.
 Service 950 is suspended till further notice.