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Old January 8th, 2006, 05:10 AM   #1281
babystan03
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^ Oh yeah, just heard about it....my friend complaining....
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Old January 8th, 2006, 05:11 AM   #1282
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Copyright © 2006 MCN International Pte Ltd

Big terror response drill underway in Singapore



SINGAPORE: A big civil emergency exercise is underway in Singapore to test the preparedness of various agencies and the public in case of a terror attack in the country.

Codenamed Exercise NorthStar V, it is Singapore's first surprise large-scale civil emergency drill, with 22 HomeFront agencies taking part and involving the disruption of public train services.

The exact date, time and locations of the exercise were kept a secret till minutes before the start of the drill, though the public had been pre-warned of it via media reporting and posters. This is to instil surprise and create a sense of realism to the exercise.

Simulations in the form of thunder flashes, smoke and fire simulators are being used to create simultaneous bomb attacks by terrorists so as to inject a realistic exercise scenario.

Apart from dummy mannequins, 'live' casualties are also deployed at stations' platform and in the trains to portray injured commuters and fatalities.

Exercise NorthStar V is taking place at four subway stations and a bus interchange.

The five exercise locations are Dhoby Ghaut, Toa Payoh, Raffles Place and Marina Bay MRT stations as well as the Toa Payoh Bus Interchange.

The drill started at 6.25am and will last till 9.30am.

While the three-hour exercise is confined to only four MRT stations, however, due to the interconnected nature of the train network, temporary disruption of services will affect a total of 13 train stations.

These 13 stations will be closed throughout the duration of the exercise.

They are namely:
1. Braddell
2. Toa Payoh
3. Novena
4. Newton
5. Orchard
6. Somerset
7. Dhoby Ghaut
8. Clarke Quay
9. City Hall
10. Raffles Place
11. Tanjong Pagar
12. Marina Bay
13. Chinatown

Bus services at the Toa Payoh Bus Interchange will operate as per normal as only a small section of the bus interchange is closed during the exercise.

Roads within the exercise vicinity will also be closed to traffic from 6.30am to 9.30am.

At the Dhoby Ghaut MRT station, a simulated explosion went off on a train just after 6.30am.

Immediately thereafter, announcements in four languages were broadcast in the station informing commuters that train services have been disrupted and shuttle arrangements have been made to ferry the passengers.

The first batch of affected commuters started coming out from the station at 6.40am.

The public can turn to the SCDF website for more details on the exercise and the road closures.

For bus-bridging services during the drill, commuters can turn to the SMRT website and the SBS Transit website. - CNA /ir
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Old January 8th, 2006, 12:42 PM   #1283
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Copyright © 2006 MCN International Pte Ltd

Major subway bomb blast drill during peak hours being considered: DPM Wong

Singapore has held a surprise security drill, staging mock bombings and a simulated chemical attack to test readiness for a terror strike on the country.

Exercise NorthStar V was conducted during off-peak hours on a Sunday.

But the next one could well be held during the peak period, according to Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng.

Speaking to the media at the Dhoby Ghaut station, Mr Wong said Singapore can't assume that terrorists would choose off-peak times to attack.

Meantime, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was also observing the exercise at Dhoby Ghaut, stressed the agencies involved in civil emergencies must know what to do when the button is pressed.

Singaporeans and the country's emergency agencies have taken part in bomb blast exercises in the past at various subway stations and even at Changi Airport.

The difference this time round was the series of multiple attacks, which would require a more elaborate response.

Singapore leaders say the country has much to learn from the way Londoners reacted to the series of bomb attacks at their train stations in July last year.

And, Sunday's exercise is to test the preparedness of both Singaporeans and the different agencies as to how quickly they respond to such attacks and how the public reacts to inconveniences caused by such incidents.

Observing the drill at Dhoby Ghaut station, PM Lee described it as a very important exercise.

Mr Lee said Londoners and British agencies were ready when the London bombings happened on July 7th last year.

He said: "They knew exactly what to do and that made a tremendous difference. So we concluded that we also have to be equally prepared in Singapore in case any of this thing happens.

"This exercise is a chance for us to practise all these procedures, make sure the procedures are ok, the plans are sound and the people know what to do.

"In a real incident, there is of course the public response and the political response. The government will have to come out, the PM and the ministers will have to come out and explain what has happened and calm people and re-assure people that everything is under control and what can be done is being done."

But at the end of the day, Singapore leaders stressed that it's not the government, civil defence or police but the determination of the people which will defeat the terrorists.

DPM Wong said: "When we have a bomb attack in Singapore, what is important for Singaporeans is to stay united, to be able to tell the terrorists that we are not cowed by bombings by them, because if we are afraid, the terrorists would have won."

Yaacob Ibrahim, Environment and Water Resources Minister, said: "If we are in the right frame of mind, despite the shock, you will be able to do something, you can help out and you know where to go for help ... we cannot afford not to recover very quickly".

Officers from the London Metropolitan Police and the British Transport Police also observed Exercise NorthStar, and will share their thoughts with Singapore authorities soon. - CNA/ir
_________________


Mr Wong, who is also the Home Affairs Minister, told reporters that he did not rule out the possibility of holding similar exercises during peak hours.

PM Lee said that Sunday's drill was an important large-scale exercise and that it was designed not just to test the preparedness of emergency crews but also how the public should react if there is a terrorist attack in Singapore.

Turning to the London blasts last July, Mr Lee said the British had practised how to deal with blasts at its underground stations and were ready when they happened and responded efficiently.

Singaporeans should also be equally prepared, he said.

Mr Lee said: "Because in an incident like this, it's not only for the first responders but also the public - must take instruction, remain calm, go about their business, and if there are casualties, to deal with them and next of kin.

"We hope to educate the public on what to do if such an event takes place. We will do our best to prevent it but if it should happen, this is how we react and how we go about and put things back to normal." - CNA/ir

The public can turn to the SCDF website for more details on Sunday's exercise.
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Old January 8th, 2006, 12:47 PM   #1284
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Copyright © 2006 MCN International Pte Ltd

Shuttle buses deployed at affected MRT stations during Exercise NorthStar V



SINGAPORE : Shuttle buses were provided at stations where train services had been disrupted, but the bottleneck was at Bishan MRT station, where southbound train passengers had to disembark.

Commuters woke up to warnings of the island-wide emergency exercise on Sunday morning.

Besides the stretch of MRT stations from Braddell to Marina Bay, Dhoby Ghaut, Clarke Quay and Chinatown stations on the North-East line, and Tanjong Pagar station were also closed.

So those who couldn't get to their destinations had to queue for the free shuttle buses.

Some students rushing to a netball tournament were caught unaware at Bishan MRT.

One girl said: "We need to register by 7:30 and I'm not sure we can get there on time."

Another girl said: "The train officer told us to take the free shuttle bus to City Hall MRT and the train will resume from there."

Station staff directed passengers to shuttle buses or nearby bus services. Others tried hailing taxis in the rain.

Despite the inconveniences, most commuters took the exercise in their stride although there were some tempers flaring as passengers were unhappy that they were going to be late for work.

One commuter said: "I call my colleague to say that I'm a bit late because I'm stuck in the MRT."

Some shuttle buses were delayed due to a traffic jam, but the queue was cleared soon after.

It wasn't just the southbound passengers who were affected.

Northbound trains were also delayed, leaving some commuters frustrated.

An elderly commuter grumbled: "I have been here since 6:45 until now and you tell me that there's a train going to Marsiling. I've been waiting for 15 minutes!"

But not everyone was unhappy.

One young commuter said: "I planned to go to the City Hall MRT station from Khatib, but when I was about to board the train, the SMRT staff was polite enough to tell me that I will get a free bus shuttle service from Bishan, so I'm quite okay with the whole thing."

Stations including Outram, Little India and Bugis also faced the same situation as Bishan - passengers had to disembark and get on shuttle buses to by-pass the affected stations to continue their journey.

Shuttle services were withdrawn gradually as the train services were being restored. - CNA/de
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Old January 8th, 2006, 12:48 PM   #1285
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Copyright © 2006 MCN International Pte Ltd

Commuters surprised but back emergency drill



Some train commuters were surprised by mock explosions carried out as part of a civil emergency exercise on Sunday.

But those who found themselves involved in the exercise, codenamed NorthStar V, were strongly supportive of the drill.

Two simulated blasts were carried out in Toa Payoh as part of the exercise, codenamed NorthStar V, early Sunday morning.

One 'blast' took place at the MRT station while the other at the bus interchange, both around 6.40am.

The train approaching Toa Payoh station was not packed.

Still, when the simulated blast went off, dozens had to make an orderly exit from the station.

Most of the commuters Channel NewsAsia spoke to appeared shocked but managed to recover quickly.

"I really didn't know about this, and then I realised that it's actually an exercise," said a commuter.

Though some were aware that the exercise would take place, many did not expect it to happen so early in the morning.

While there were mock casualties, paramedics were also well prepared for any real instances where people were caught off-guard, such as attending to a lady who felt faint during the evacuation.

Earlier Sunday, a loud 'blast' was heard at 6.37am at the Dhoby Ghaut MRT station, another emergency drill site.

Following that, smoke escaped from the first three train carriages.

The commuters, ushered by Civil Defence officers as well as SBS Transit officers, walked towards the emergency exit at the end of the train.

Lights went out about three minutes after the blast, and guided by the emergency lights which are battery operated, members of the public cleared the train in less than 10 minutes.

At the station, the passengers came across mock casualties, supposedly suffering from chemical gas inhalation at the station.

Over a hundred Civil Defence officers rushed to the station less than 20 minutes after the incident.

Dressed in gas masks and protective suits, they entered the station to carry out the mock casualties.

Outside the station, traffic on the nearby road fronting Plaza Singapura shopping complex was affected as two lanes were closed due to the emergency drill.

Though inconvenienced, those who found themselves involved in the exercise were in favour of the drill.

"Very good exercise, although it intrudes on work," said a commuter.

"I think it's good, because in real life, an emergency can happen anytime," said another.

"I was very surprised about it because it happened so suddenly, but I thought it's good for Singapore to have this kind of exercise," said a third commuter.

"To get Singapore ready is very important because right now terrorists are quite rampant in other countries. So it's better to have such a drill to get Singapore ready in times of crisis," said a fourth. - CNA/ir
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Old January 8th, 2006, 12:50 PM   #1286
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Copyright © 2006 MCN International Pte Ltd

Exercise NorthStar V enacts 'suicide bomber' at Raffles Place MRT station



SINGAPORE : To test how the security forces respond to a possible terrorist attack, the organisers of Exercise NorthStar V even enacted the discovery and arrest of a 'suicide bomber' at Raffles Place MRT station.

Three minutes after the simulated bomb went off, commuters were evacuated from Raffles Place MRT station.

An enactment of a suicide bomber was the other high point of the exercise.

With the help of two commuters, a female suicide bomber was found and arrested.

The mock explosives that remained undetonated were covered with a so-called "bomb blanket" to limit the possibility of further widespread damage.

Like other affected stations, there was also a simulation of casualties receiving medical treatment.

It was relatively quiet on the East-bound platform at Raffles Place MRT station since the emergency exercise was held on a Sunday morning.

And even though it wasn't the real thing, the experience was just as unforgettable for some commuters.

Hari Chandra, Hotel Staff, said: "It's my first experience in a train with a bomb blast. I thought it was real, although it was just in one compartment, some of the people fell and I thought "What's happening?""

But like other stations, many commuters took the drill in their stride.

Rin Wahab, Network Executive, said: "By doing this exercise, all Singaporeans will be more alert whenever there is a bomb."

Commuters were also glad to see that security agencies were trained and ready to face a terrorist attack. - CNA/de
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Old January 8th, 2006, 12:51 PM   #1287
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Copyright © 2006 MCN International Pte Ltd

British Transport Police observe Exercise NorthStar V



SINGAPORE : A senior official from the British Transport Police was in Singapore to observe Exercise NorthStar V.

Chief Constable Ian Johnston said involving Singaporeans, as well as agencies in the drill, was a good move.

Mr Johnston said: "What is interesting about yours is that you have actually involved the commuters on the line. It is a really interesting initiative and that is something we did not use and will give you some insights into how people actually feel during these events.

"The response was very quick, I think the professional way the people have gone about their job here. They all seem to know what they do. They exude confidence and that's what is really important."

Singapore held the surprise security drill, staging mock bombings and a simulated chemical attack to test readiness for a terror strike on the country.

Exercise NorthStar V was conducted during off-peak hours on Sunday. - CNA/de
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Old January 8th, 2006, 12:58 PM   #1288
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Copyright © 2006 MCN International Pte Ltd.

Passengers Being Evacuated Off A Alstom Metropolis Train


Passengers Walking Towards The Nearest Station
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Old January 8th, 2006, 01:34 PM   #1289
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Videos Of The Emergency Exercise
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/northstar/vod.htm
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Old January 9th, 2006, 04:30 PM   #1290
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09 January 2006

Preparations underway at Buangkok MRT station for official opening
By Hasnita A. Majid, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : There are just a few more days before Buangkok MRT station opens on January 15.

To gear up for the station's grand opening, some of the works being done include ensuring the turnstiles are in order, that the air conditioners are working efficiently, and the floor and walls are spotlessly clean.

Augustine Wong, Deputy Director of Passenger Service (Rail) at SBS TRansit, said: "What we are looking at now is that the system has to be in operation, to serve the same as what other stations have been doing. So from the operation aspect, passengers should be able to come in, should be able to use the station in a friendly way."

So it is all systems go at the station - with the ticketing machines already programmed to dispense tickets.

The name of Buangkok MRT station is already incorporated in all ticketing machines across the island since the opening of the NorthEast line in 2003, except that it has been covered by a white sticker.

On Sunday, this is all set to change as the MRT station will prominently feature as part of the North-East line.

The announcement to open Buangkok MRT station was made earlier this year, reversing an earlier decision for the station to remain closed as there were not enough residents within 400 metre radius of the station needed to justify its opening.

Currently there are already 100 blocks within that distance with at least 2,000 to 3,000 units occupied.

And by the end of the year, there will be another 625 units in the area when a condominium project near the station is launched.

SBS Transit expects between 2,500 and 3,500 commuters daily when the station opens.

But the company stressed that it is committed to keep the station open, even if it does not see the ridership that's expected.

Operating the station will add $1 million a year to SBS Transit's expenditure.

A grand opening will be held on Sunday when Defence Minister and MP for Pasir-Ris Punggol GRC, Teo Chee Hean, officiates at the opening of the station.

Residents can board their first train at Buangkok MRT station at 1pm that day. - CNA/de

Copyright © 2006 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old January 15th, 2006, 10:35 AM   #1291
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15 January 2006

Punggol South residents celebrate opening of Buangkok station
By Hasnita A Majid, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : At least 10,000 residents of Punggol South celebrated the opening of Buangkok MRT station on Sunday morning.

Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also MP for Pasir-Ris Punggol GRC, officially opened the station at about 10.15am amidst much fanfare; but the first train only pulled in at 1pm.

Residents rushed to the station minutes before that to take the first ride out.

Many say that they are happy the station has finally opened as this will save them time and money on transport.

MP for the area Charles Chong says he is confident ridership at the station will increase as residential developments around the area are completed.

The opening of the station had been delayed due to the lack of housing in the vicinity of Buangkok.

Up to 3,500 passenger rides per day are expected at the station once it opens. - CNA /ct

Copyright © 2006 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old January 15th, 2006, 12:50 PM   #1292
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64th MRT Station & counting...
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Old January 15th, 2006, 01:01 PM   #1293
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A more detailed report....

15 January 2006

Buangkok MRT station finally opens amid fanfare

By Hasnita A Majid, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : At least 10,000 residents of Punggol South on Sunday celebrated the opening of Buangkok MRT station amidst much fanfare.

Residents of the area had to wait about two and a half years after the launch of the North East Line for the station to start operations.

Minutes before the first train pulled in, the first passenger, 52-year-old Ang Lan Sai walked through the turnstiles.

He had waited a year since moving into the area for the MRT to start services.

Said Mr Ang, "I will go down to Chinatown and I will get number one."

He was followed seconds later by excited residents who rushed through the gates.

It was a moment they had been waiting for, having lobbied for the station to open.

Even those who did not live in the immediate vicinity came to lend support and test out the first train.

Said Marie Lim, a grassroots member at Punggol South, "Every visit we have, we get queried when is it (going to) open and we tell them soon, soon, soon. Now it is finally open we are happy; so next block visit we will not be queried again."

One resident said, "We have been fighting for the opening for some time and it's only happening now."

For Marilyn Ho and her husband Joseph Lim, who live about 300 to 400 metres away from the station, the start of train services means that they can save time, and transport costs.

Said Ms Ho, "In the past I have to take the LRT to the train station (Sengkang MRT station) before transferring to another bus service so that takes up 30 to 40 minutes. With this new station, it will shave off 10 to 15 minutes, so it's good news."

Defence Minister Teo officially opened the station.

As MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, he hopes it will be a win-win situation for both residents and SBS Transit, the train operator.

Said Mr Teo, "We are happy that SBS Transit has been able to control the costs and been able to open the station early and of course when the residents are happy, that is very good too."

The opening of Buangkok Station had been delayed due to insufficient developments around the area.

It led some frustrated residents to put up placards of white elephants to reflect the state of the station during a minister's visit last year.

MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Charles Chong, who has been fervently lobbying for the opening of the station, expressed confidence that ridership will increase.

Said Mr Chong, "Now that the station is open, I hope residents would play their part by using the station even if they have to walk more than 400 metres to the station, because if they don't, then SBS Transit may be tempted to put a next set of white elephants to send a message to our residents."

Mr Chong says that residents have learnt a valuable experience from lobbying for the opening of the station and the episode has even bonded the residents together.

The opening of Buangkok Station could not have come at a better time.

With the Chinese New Year just round the corner, residents now have a direct service to take them to Chinatown.

SBS Transit expects passenger rides here to reach up to 3,500 per day. - CNA /ct

Copyright © 2006 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old February 14th, 2006, 11:54 AM   #1294
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Order Received for Renewal of Singapore Subway Cars

Mitsui & Co., Transportation Systems Asia Sdn. Bhd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui), Mitsui, and Rotem Company, a member of the Hyundai Group and the largest railcar manufacturer in Korea, have received an order to refurbish 396 subway cars of the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit Trains Ltd. (SMRT) at a total cost ofapproximately ¥9.5 billion.

SMRT has 766 subway cars in service, and the refurbishment order will cover cars in service about 15 years. This is expected to lengthen the usable lifetimes of SMRT’s railcars and cut investment costs, while improving the performance of existing cars. Renewal work will include the refurbishment of seats and other interior fixtures, the upgrading of onboard telecommunications equipment, and the improvement of the internal appearance of the cars. This will be one of the largest projects of its kind undertaken by a single company. Historically, Mitsui has worked with leading Japanese, European, and U.S. railcar manufacturers in this area and is now expanding its relationships with newly emerging manufacturers in Korea and China. As a result, Mitsui has been steadily establishing its track record in recent years and has received many orders for work in mainland China, Hong Kong, Brazil, and the United States. Rotem was formed in 1999 from the merger of three major Korean railcar manufacturers and is building a global presence backed by a high level of technology and competitiveness. Mitsui began working with Rotem several years ago and has been already awarded two projects in Brazil, and this marks the first project for the Mitsui-Rotem partnership in Asia. Mitsui anticipates further growth in demand for new railcars and renewal projects, especially in Asia, because of rising demand for rail transport, linked in part to growing concern about environmental issues. —First Transportation Project Div.

Last edited by ignoramus; February 14th, 2006 at 12:00 PM.
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Old February 14th, 2006, 01:37 PM   #1295
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yay! i hope they release details soon
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Old February 14th, 2006, 02:24 PM   #1296
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Just some language questions

Buangkok ? what language is that ? Chinese, Malay or Thai? Does it has the same meaning of "Bangkok"? I have read somewhere that the word would be pronounced "Bankoku" in Japanese, similar to the Japanese name for Bangkok?

Thanks
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Old February 14th, 2006, 02:31 PM   #1297
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heirloom
yay! i hope they release details soon
The news was from late last year and they haven't really released any details about it...I guess SMRT always adopts a ''you will know it when you see it'' kind of approach...
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Old February 14th, 2006, 03:07 PM   #1298
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odonto
Just some language questions

Buangkok ? what language is that ? Chinese, Malay or Thai? Does it has the same meaning of "Bangkok"? I have read somewhere that the word would be pronounced "Bankoku" in Japanese, similar to the Japanese name for Bangkok?

Thanks
Is Hokkien (one of the chinese dialects).
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Old February 14th, 2006, 03:36 PM   #1299
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Buangkok is actually Buang Kok.

It's in the Chinese dialect of Hokkien.

Literally means "Ten Thousand Countries"... I wonder why...
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Old February 15th, 2006, 02:39 PM   #1300
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SUMMARY
- Decision tactiles at pedestrian crossings, overhead bridges & bus stops & interchanges to be progressively installed starting 2006.
- 67% of all buses will be wheelchair accessible by 2013. 100% by 2023.
- 95% of all operating MRT subway stations will be barrier free by mid 2006. 100% by 2010.

LTA Announces Plan To
Introduce Wheelchair-Accessible Buses
And Programme To Upgrade Road Facilities


Towards A More Accessible, Inclusive and User-Friendly
Land Transport System


From 2006, all new public buses registered in Singapore will be required to be wheelchair-accessible. These buses will be introduced progressively to replace the existing fleet of non-wheelchair-accessible buses. In addition, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will upgrade the road facilities to improve the existing barrier-free measures as well as enhance their user-friendliness.

Introducing Wheelchair-Accessible Buses

The decision to introduce wheelchair-accessible buses was made following a review by the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and LTA, and is in line with the recommendation from the Committee on Ageing Issues. All new buses will be low-floor and step-free, and will include features such as a manually operated ramp for boarding and alighting, and a single wheelchair parking space. This is to ensure the public transport system can meet the needs of the population in 2030 when 19% of the population will be 65 years old and above.

The introduction of wheelchair-accessible buses will be carried out as SBS Transit and SMRT Buses replace their existing buses – an approach that almost all cities have adopted to avoid the high cost of mass replacement of vehicles in good condition or complex retrofitting works. For a start, SBS Transit will be bringing in 150 wheelchair-accessible buses in 2006. Based on the operators' yearly fleet replacement programmes, two-thirds of the bus fleetetet, or more than 2000 buses, will be wheelchair-accessible in seven years' time. All public buses can be expected to be wheelchair-accessible by 2023 or in 17 years' time (17 years being the statutory lifespan of public buses). As the fleet size of the wheelchair-accessible buses builds up progressively, the operators will work with the relevant agencies to ensure that these vehicles are deployed on routes where they are most needed first.

MOT will fund the incremental capital cost of providing the manual access ramp and associated features for the wheelchair-accessible buses, which is estimated at $6,000 per bus. Based on the existing fleet of about 3,550 buses, this would amount to some $21 million over 17 years or about $1 million a year.

LTA will work with the public transport operators and voluntary welfare organisations to fine-tune the specifications of the accessibility features, the deployment plans of wheelchair-accessible buses, drivers' training, public education and other operational issues before launching the wheelchair accessible buses. This is to ensure that the needs of wheelchair users and other persons with mobility challenges can be met while minimising any impact on the bus services.

For the introduction of wheelchair-accessible public buses to be successful, co-operation and understanding from all public transport users is crucial. There will be some adjustments needed from other passengers to accommodate the presence of wheelchair users on board buses. For example, there may be slightly longer stopping time at bus stops. Also, other passengers will need to give way to wheelchair-bound passengers to use the designated wheelchair space on board the buses. In addition, motorists will need to refrain from parking or stopping their vehicles at or near bus stops as a wheelchair-accessible bus needs to stop very close to the bus stop kerb to deploy the boarding/alighting ramp. More at-grade signalised pedestrian crossings may also need to be introduced in some areas to allow those on wheelchairs easy access to public transport facilities.

Upgrading of Road Facilities

LTA will upgrade our road facilities over the next three to four years at the cost of $60 million to enhance its user-friendliness. By improving the road facilities, LTA aims to meet the needs of the elderly, the less-mobile, the wheelchair users and those with young children in prams, and enhance the accessibility between destinations.

Following a recent review of overseas best practices, LTA has expanded on the improvement measures to be implemented. The road facilities and their corresponding measures include:

1.
Walkways on public streets:
Provide a minimum of 1.0m to 1.5m clearance by removing obstacles from walkway so as to allow clear access for wheelchair users

2.
Road kerbs:
Provide kerb-cut ramps flushed with the road surface that allows smooth level transition, with decision tactile to guide the visually-impaired

3.
Pedestrian crossings:
Install kerb-cut ramps
Thicken road crossing lines or thicken both ends of zebra crossing to aid the visually impaired by guiding them to walk within the width of the designated crossing
Install traffic signal posts with vibrating push button capability to serve as an audio alert for the visually-impaired

4.
Pedestrian overhead bridges:
Install colour-contrasting decision tactile at top and bottom most landings

5.
Bus stops, taxi stands and bus interchanges:
Install decision tactile at bus stop boarding point and remove/reduce existing steps
Retrofit taxi stand with ramps and install decision tactile at boarding point
Provide ramps to connect bus interchange to buildings and/or MRT station as well as decision tactile at boarding points

6.
Road and traffic signs:
Upgrade all signs using reflective sheetings of higher reflectivity (at shorter viewing distance) for traffic signs, street name signs and temporary traffic control signs to aid older drivers navigating the road network


Implementation of these measures in the city areas, particularly those with high pedestrian traffic like shopping areas will start in April this year. For places near hospitals, homes for the aged and various schools/institutions with physically challenged road users, LTA will hold discussions with the related agencies to set the priority of implementation and works will also start in 2006. For road facilities connecting transport nodes to residential estates, the improvement measures will be implemented in tandem with upgrading programme set out by the town councils.

Station Upgrading Project

To improve the accessibility and user-friendliness of our land transport system, LTA has already designed and built all the new Rapid Transit Systems (RTS) – Dover Station, Changi Airport MRT Extension, North East Line, Bukit Panjang, Sengkang and Punggol LRT systems – with barrier-free facilities including lifts and wheelchair ramps, among others.

Since the year 2000, LTA has also been retrofitting MRT stations constructed in the earlier phases to enhance their accessibility1. These stations were not provided with barrier-free facilities because at the time of construction, the MRT stations were exempted from complying with the Code on Barrier Free Accessibility in Buildings. The Building Control regulations, requiring all all new RTS tTS to comply with the Code for Barrier Free Accessibility in Buildings came into force in 1996.

Thirty-nine stations have been retrofitted so far. The remaining six MRT stations – Bugis, Marina Bay, City Hall, Raffles Place, Tanjong Pagar and Tiong Bahru – will be completed by mid 2006. The three interchange stations with the Circle Line – Bishan, Buona Vista and Paya Lebar – will be retrofitted together with the Circle Line projects to minimise inconvenience to commuters.

Tactile Guidance System

Tactile guidance system – a form of floor indicator system which primarily aids the visually impaired passengers to move about independently and safely – has also been provided for at the RTS stations. It consists of Decision and Direction floor tiles.

The tactile route typically starts at the entrance of the MRT stations at ground level and leads the visually-impaired passengers into the station concourse level where they will pass through a set of automatic wide fare gates into the concourse paid area. The route will then continue and end at the concourse level lift entrance. Upon reaching the platform level, the tactile route will lead the passengers to a designated waiting area on the platform for them to wait for the train.

Multilingual Signs in the MRT Network

As part of our on-going effort to make the public transport system more accessible and convenient to use, LTA has also enhanced the system-wide signage by installing more multilingual signs. Between end 2004 and August 2005, LTA has replaced some 8,000 signs2 to include Chinesclude Chinese ade Chinese and Tamil signage to help the non-English speaking commuters identify the MRT stations.

A More Accessible, Inclusive and User-Friendly Land Transport System

In total, the Government is spending about $172 million3 to enhance our land transport infrastructure and system. BG (NS) Yam Ah Mee, Chief Executive of LTA said, "Our aim is to ensure that more people can move around easily, freely and safely, and enjoy the benefits of Singapore's comprehensive, convenient and efficient land transport system. With wheelchair-accessible buses, barrier-free facilities on the MRT system, and improvements to our roads and road-related facilities, our land transport system will become more accessible and user-friendly and will be able to meet different needs."

1 With at least one station entrance with an accessible route, provision of lifts, tactile guidance system and accessible toilets.

2 The multilingual signs include: station name signs above the platform screen doors at all underground MRT stations; station name signs on the columns at the platform at all underground MRT systems; station name signs along the platform of all elevated stations; station names on first train/last train sign at station entrances; station names in the MRT system map's legend, fare chart on the concourse level and single-route maps at the platform.

3 The $172 million comprises $81.5 million for the station upgrade project, $7.4 million for the tactile guidance system, $2.2 million for the installation of multilingual signs, $60 million for the upgrading of road infrastructure and road-related facilities and $21 million being the incremental cost of introducing wheelchair-accessible buses over 17 years.

Last edited by ignoramus; February 15th, 2006 at 03:42 PM.
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