SINGAPORE: When it poured, some Fajar Secondary School students were late for school while waiting out the rain at void decks or at bus stops.
Others turned up at school soaking wet, having run the distance that's not covered by sheltered walkways.
But since sheltered walkways leading to the school gate were built this year, the school in Bukit Panjang has seen more students turning up on time on rainy days, said its vice principal.
The walkways are part of 200km worth of sheltered walkways that have been built in the past five years under the Land Transport Authority's (LTA) Walk2Ride programme.
LTA announced on Saturday (Sep 15) that a milestone in the programme has been completed, at a cost of S$300 million.
"Where feasible, walkways have been built to schools, healthcare facilities and other public amenities within a 400-metre radius of MRT stations, and within a 200-metre radius of bus interchanges, LRT stations and selected bus stops with high commuter volumes," said LTA.
To minimise inconvenience to residents during construction, LTA said materials were prefabricated off-site to speed up the installation process. A "single post design" was also used where necessary to maximise the width of the walkways.
Before the walkways were built, LTA said it sought information from the community to understand their needs and concerns.
"In the construction of the sheltered walkway to South View LRT station, LTA converted an unused space outside the LRT station into a three metre-wide path for commuters, which required modifications to the existing landscape as well as the construction of retaining walls," LTA cited as an example.
It also worked with Fajar Secondary School to close a six-metre gap between an exiting sheltered walkway and the sheltered school gate.
As Singapore expands its public transport network, authorities hope the sheltered walkways will make is easier for commuters to reach train stations and bus stops.
"We know that safe, comfortable walkways are necessary to get Singaporeans to #WalkCycleRide and make Singapore car-lite. And in our tropical weather, they have to be sheltered too," said Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan in a Facebook post on Saturday.
"Five years and S$300 million later, I am happy to announce the completion of this #Walk2Ride Programme."