Singapore has very good in-land accessible transport facilities compared to many other countries.
Different modes of transport available in Singapore:
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- Trains (MRT – Mass Rapid Transport & LRT – Light Rail Transport)
- Bus (2 main companies & private bus services)
- Taxi (>3 companies, whereby London cabs are suitable for motorized wheelchairs)
- Private (Vans with hydraulic lifts, etc.)
MRT & LRT – This is the railway system system in Singapore that connects most parts of country well. It is the most popular mode of public transport for its connectivity and speed of transport. All the stations come with very good wheelchair accessible features:All stations have accessible routes (with low-slope ramps).
- All stations are fitted with wide enough tap gates to enter
- Even floor inside the stations often. Quite spacious also.
- Accessible lifts: Available at all stations (sometimes more than 1). They are wide enough and, generally have call buttons at wheelchair height level
- Accessible toilets: Most stations have toilets. Some have outside the tap gates. You can seek staff help to go there without tapping out.
- Crowd level is high during peakhours (7:30-9am; 6-8pm). Best to avoid weekday morning peak hours.
- Most stations have tactile flooring to and from lifts and platforms
- Staff very helpful
- Changing MRT lines to access some stations may be a bit confusing. Best to approach the staff and get directions.
- Bus transport is required to access most of the inner parts of Singapore. But not all buses are wheelchair accessible. The wheelchair accessible buses (WAB) can be identified by a Blue wheelchair decal at the front of the bus.
- Flag down as the bus approaches the bus stop so that the bus captain can stop at a more appropriate place for you to board it. Or you can press the call button on the sides of the bus.
- The bus captain will come and pull down a ramp manually for you to board it.
- There is designated place for you to park yourself.
- Press the call button just before the stop you want to alight. If you are not sure, inform the driver while you board the bus.
- You will find the Iris-NextBus mobile map very handy. It provides info on the next bus(es) arriving at the bus stop, how long you need to wait, whether the bus is WAB or not, identify bus stops with a map, etc.
- Accessible taxi services are quite limited.
- London cabs – These are the best to board without alighting from the wheelchair. But expensive.
- Maxicabs – Maxicabs are like vans with high floor level and low ceiling. If the driver has ramps (check this while booking), you can either board from sides or back. However, you or your chair cannot be too high since the ceiling will be low.
- Private taxis – Some other taxi services have sprung up recently but they are expensive as well. And require you to book well in advance.
- Other normal cabs – They require you to get down and board as in any normal car. Also your chair should be foldable.
4. Other Private Transport
Others – Some disabled associations provide transport with dedicated vans. They are quite spacious and usually come with hydraulic lifts. But often only the members qualify, and even then must be booked well in advance. For example: Handicaps Welfare Association – www.hwa.org.sg