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Commuters aware of need to be gracious: LTA survey

Latest Land Transport Agency campaign hopes to inspire those on public transport to be thoughtful to fellow passengers.

SINGAPORE: A post-campaign survey by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) following its Graciousness Programme last year showed commuters are aware of the need to be gracious when taking public transport.

Nearly 80 per cent of commuters polled are aware of the need for graciousness, but it may take some time for this to be translated into a change in behaviour, the LTA said on Thursday (June 19) as it unveiled this year's Graciousness campaign.

The campaign, launched on Thursday, features cartoon characters that represent the everyday commuter to help deliver the message of being thoughtful to fellow passengers.

Meet Move-In Martin. He will be reminding commuters to move in and not crowd around doors so more passengers can board the bus or train. He is one of three cartoon characters featured in this year's Graciousness campaign.

Dr William Wan, General Secretary of Singapore Kindness Movement, said: "Unless we are aware of a problem, or aware of a need, it's unlikely that we would do something about it. So, hopefully from awareness it will lead to action, and once people realise that something needs to be done, and they do it, then it becomes a habit, and hopefully over time a habit will become a culture."

This year's campaign aims specifically to bring out greater thoughtfulness in commuters

"Some people just rush for the seats to use their phones," said train commuter Nur Atiqah Md Zain.

She added: "It's important for people to know what's around them because you are not living alone in the world, and sad to say technology takes people's mind off them, they don't even know what's happening."

There may be other gracious behaviour which commuters would like to see in the public transport.

Besides Move-In Martin, and Stand-Up Stacy, commuters are also invited to create their own characters that feature positive behaviour, as part of this year's Graciousness campaign.

Commuters can design their own characters on the LTA's Facebook page.

The campaign has been running since 2009, and there have been some positive results.

To motivate more gracious behaviour, new queue lines and painted reserved seats were introduced at Downtown Line 1 stations when they opened last December.

LTA says the new designs have been effective in ensuring smoother commuter flow and it will be monitoring the designs over the longer term before deciding whether they will be extended to other MRT stations.

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