SINGAPORE: Commuters with medical conditions who need a seat on public transport may soon find it easier to get one, under a new initiative by the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
From Tuesday (Oct 1), those with invisible medical conditions that may prevent them from standing for long periods of time can get a special sticker to alert fellow commuters on trains and buses that they need a seat.
Examples include - but are not limited to - commuters with chronic pain, heart disease, those recovering from strokes or physical injuries, those undergoing cancer treatment, those who use prosthetic limbs and early-stage expectant mothers, said LTA in a news release.
These stickers will progressively be made available at all MRT stations, bus interchanges and TransitLink ticket offices.
Commuters can use their medical certificates or doctors' letters to support their request if they feel comfortable doing so, added the authority.
"Commuters have consistently demonstrated graciousness to the elderly or expectant mothers on public transport," said Deputy Group Director (Public Transport) at LTA Priscilla Chan.
"However, there is another group of commuters whose conditions are often hidden and yet they need seats just as much.
“Following consultations with various voluntary welfare organisations, we are embarking on this visual identifier pilot to bridge the gap between commuters with invisible medical conditions and fellow commuters who now will not need to second-guess the needs of these commuters."
Similar initiatives are being used on other transport networks, such as in London and Japan, she added.
Commuters are encouraged to give up their seats not only to those wearing the stickers but also to others who may need seats, including senior citizens, expectant mothers and parents with young children, said LTA.