Yesterday was the start of a six-month trial by Land Transport Authority (LTA), allowing personal mobility devices (PMDs) and foldable bicycles onto public trains and buses all day.
So, during the morning peak hour, I took my e-scooter from home in Punggol onto an SBS Transit bus, then the MRT to Raffles Place station.
The journey was smooth, although I had trouble lugging around my 19kg MOBOT Freedom Chaser e-scooter which had to be kept folded during the commute on public transport.
My journey started at 7.55am when I boarded service 50 from my home to the temporary bus interchange in Punggol.
Fortunately, there were no passengers with foldable bikes or PMDs on the bus as regulations allow only one at any time.
Another regulation to take note of is that commuters are not allowed to carry PMDs or foldable bikes to the upper deck and fortunately, for me, the lower deck wasn’t crowded.
When I reached Punggol MRT station, I opted to take the lift instead of the crowded escalator as I did not want to inconvenience the other passengers.
In doing so, I had to take a longer route as the lifts were at the other end of the station and I missed one train; something I need to factor in for future trips.
I made my way to the train’s front carriage, as it is one of LTA’s guidelines, and was surprised to find that the other commuters did not have any problems with my e-scooter.
They even made way for me.
On the way to Dhoby Ghaut station, the train had jerked intermittently and I had to ensure my e-scooter did not hit the other commuters.
From Dhoby Ghaut to Raffles Place, passengers boarded the train to the point there was barely any room to extend my arms and, even then, they didn’t seem to mind my load.
By the end of the trip, my shirt was soaked with perspiration from lifting and rolling the e-scooter around. But it was a smooth process and I have no qualms about taking an e-scooter to work and back.
Dr. Lee Der Horng, a transport researcher at the National University of Singapore, said this trial was a more proactive way of getting people to take public transport and reduce congestion on roads.
He told The New Paper: “I hope commuters will be receptive to this trial… After all, more people taking public transport is a good thing.”
Rules and guidelines to follow
– Bicycles and personal mobility devices (PMDs) are allowed on public transport at any time if they comply with the permitted dimensions and rules
– Bicycles and PMDs must be no larger than 120cm by 70cm by 40cm
– Foldable bicycles or PMDs must be folded at all times
– Motorised PMDs must be switched off on trains and buses
– Wheels of foldable bicycles or PMDs are to be covered if they are dirty or wet
– Protruding parts which may cause injuries, such as handlebars or bicycle pedals, are to be covered up or retracted
– Only one foldable bicycle or PMD is allowed on a bus at any one time
– Foldable bicycles or PMDs are not allowed on the upper deck of a bus or on the staircase
– Commuters should not ride their foldable bicycles or PMDs within MRT or LRT stations and bus interchanges or terminals. Instead, they should push or carry their folded devices
– Commuters with foldable bicycles or PMDs are advised to board the next train or bus if the first one is too crowded
– Foldable bicycles or PMDs should not block the aisles and doors or other commuters
– Commuters with foldable bicycles or PMDs should use the first or last car of trains, use the wide fare gates at MRT stations, must be responsible for safety precautions and should hold or carry their foldable bicycles/PMDs