Thursday, May 22, 2008

6 month foldable bicycle trail on buses and trains

The Land Transport Authority's media release in full.

LTA Press release, 21 May 2008: Fold It And Ride It - A Six Month Trial To Bring Foldable Bicycles On Trains And Buses

1 The Land Transport Authority (LTA), SMRT and SBST will launch a six-month trial to allow foldable bicycles on board trains and public buses during off-peak hours.

2 During the trial period from 24 May to 24 November 2008, foldable bicycles will be permitted on MRT / LRT trains every weekday during off-peak hours, and all day on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. From 24 May to 24 August 2008, foldable bicycles will also be permitted on SBST and SMRT buses all day on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. The trial on buses will be reviewed after the first three months. (Please refer to the Annex for the list of guidelines and timing.) [inserted below]

3 This trial is one of the several initiatives announced during the Land Transport Review to meet the transport needs of diverse groups of people. It recognises the increasing trend of people cycling for sports and recreation, cycling around the neighbourhood, or cycling to key transport nodes like MRT stations.

4 Mr Jeremy Yap, LTA's Group Director for Vehicle and Transit Licensing said, "While catering to the needs of cyclists, we also want to ensure the safety and comfort of other commuters. Social graciousness and mutual accommodation play an important part. Cyclists and other commuters are encouraged to be considerate and make way for one another so that more people can use our public transport system to meet their diverse travel needs."

5 "Commuters are already able to take foldable prams on board buses and carry luggage on board trains, such as when travelling to and from Changi Airport. We are trying to see if the same can be done for foldable bicycles. This trial will be able to help us seek the views from all stakeholders - cyclists, commuters, and operators. Due to the space constraints on buses as compared to the train, foldable bicycles will only be allowed on buses over the weekends and public holidays during the first three months. The feasibility to allow foldable bicycles on buses will be reviewed after three months."

6 During the trial, SBST / SMRT station staff and bus drivers can disallow a cyclist to board a bus or enter the RTS system if the cyclist is unable to comply with the guidelines or if the actual situation within an MRT/LRT station, bus interchange/terminal or on board a train/bus does not permit foldable bicycles to be admitted safely and without inconveniencing other commuters.

7 Ms Kang Huey Ling, SMRT's Director, Station Operations, said, "We are happy to work with LTA on this trial. At SMRT, we support cycling as a viable travel option by linking cycling with public transport. We encourage passengers with foldable bikes to be considerate to their fellow passengers so that everyone can enjoy a pleasant travel experience."

8 Mr Gan Juay Kiat, Chief Operating Officer, SBS Transit Ltd, said, "In supporting this trial, we hope to help a new group of commuters to use public transport as they pursue healthy and fun living. It is a move that is in line with SBS Transit's green charter in supporting healthy and green living. We hope that through this trial, all commuters will learn to be more accommodating and share the limited space available on board buses and trains with one another. While we support the trial, we are also mindful of potential implementation problems. For instance, onlstance, only foldable bicycles le bicycles of a certain size are allowed on board our buses and trains. Commuters with bicycles that are larger will not be allowed on board. Cycling enthusiasts may also be turned away when the bus is crowded as bringing a bicycle on board during such instances may pose a safety hazard to all passengers. In cases like these, disagreements may occur and we seek the co-operation and understanding of all passengers so as not to cause unnecessary service delays and inconvenience to others."

9 Ms Lim Kim Kee, an Accounts Assistant, said, "I am happy and welcome the trial with open arms. I use the foldable bicycle to exercise and get to different places of interest. I enjoy going to the East Coast Park during the weekends. As I live in Telok Blangah, I will cycle to the nearest MRT station (Redhill), hop onto a train to Kembangan MRT station and cycle there via the park connector.

10 "I hope to see more commuters welcoming us onto the trains and buses. We will also practise extra care and consideration to other commuters. At the end of the day, we are all happy commuters using the public transport system."

11 The LTA and operators will monitor the trial closely and take in feedback from commuters during the course of the trial. The trial will help in assessing whether foldable bicycles can be brought onto buses and trains without affecting normal operations or inconveniencing other commuters.


Annex: GENERAL GUIDELINES


a) Cyclists are responsible for the safe carriage of their foldable bicycles and must stay in the vicinity of their foldable bicycles at all times.

b) Foldable bicycles should be folded at all times in the MRT / LRT stations, bus interchanges / terminals and on trains and buses.

c) Foldable bicycles should not exceed 114 cm by 64 cm by 36 cm when folded.

d) The wheels of the foldable bicycles should be wrapped up if they are dirty or wet.

e) Protruding parts likely to cause injury or dirty/damage property to be covered up.

f) Foldable bicycles should not block the aisles and doors or impede commuter movement at any time.

g) Foldable bicycles should be carried in an upright position.

h) Only two foldable bicycles are allowed on each bus at any one time.

i) When travelling by train, cyclist should use the first or last car, which is less crowded.

j) Cyclists should use the lifts and wide fare gates at MRT / LRT stations where these are available.

k) Foldable bicycles are not allowed on the upper deck of a bus or placed on the staircase leading to the upper deck.

l) From 24 May to 24 August 2008, foldable bicycles are allowed on buses all day on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. They are not allowed on Mondays to Fridays. This will be reviewed after three months.

m) For the trial on trains, off-peak hours during the six month trial period, 24 May to 24 November, are defined as:
  • Mon – Fri: 9.30am – 4.30pm, 7.30 pm to end of revenue service
  • All day on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays


SMRT / SBS Transit station staff and bus drivers may disallow foldable bicycles if the actual situation within an MRT/LRT station, bus interchange/terminal or on board a train/bus does not permit foldable bicycles to be admitted safely and without inconveniencing other commuters.

Cyclists of foldable bicycles may approach SMRT / SBS Transit staff if they require any assistance.

The public can share their views on this trial by contacting LTA via 1800 2255- 582 (1800 Call-LTA), feedback@lta.gov.sg or SMS 77582 "77LTA".

9 comments:

dclh said...

This would be nice for many tertiary students, especially NTU students, I guess. Previously, I used to cycle to NTU, taking me ~80mins + ~15mins cool down + shower, which is almost the same as BUS-TRAIN-BUS ~90mins.

I would like to try out, but currently, I just need to travel from Toa Payoh to Novena, I don't need to do so :( I mainly cycle all the way there, or take a 1 station train ride when weather is bad.

This trial would be better off if can tie down with those bike for rent system to provide foldable bicycle. Then, interested people who don't currently have a foldable bicycle don't need to invest in one just for this 6-month trial.

Btw, I commented on the guidelines in my blog (http://back2nature.blogspot.com/2008/05/foldable-bicycles-arent-that-special.html).

Paul Barter said...

Sadly, now that the details are out, this looks like a trial of RESTRICTING folding bikes on MRT and buses. The guidelines are much tighter than they were before this. In practice, MRT and buses (when not packed) had been allowing foldables without problems for some time. This long list of restrictions seems like overkill. They are also rather inflexible. For example, trains traveling in the reverse peak direction are often quite empty even during peak hours. But with these rules, foldables are not allowed on these spacious trains either. I don't see a need for so many complicated rules! If the intention here is to make it easier to bring folders onto public transport then this is a very strange way to go about it.

Sivasothi said...

More comments - mrbrown and Back to Our Original Nature.

Stridaman said...

I think everyone need to have a better understanding of the rules published by LTA. These rules are meant as a guidelines telling you that during these mentioned peak hours, both trains and buses are very crowded, even if you push in a big baby pram or a big bag, the bus drivers and train station staff will also stop you and explain to you why you cannot go in during these peak hours. So, no one is picking on just folding bikes.

For many others, these rules actually comes as a positive set of guidelines as they now know how to shop for their first folding bike, no more guessing if it can go into the trains or buses. Yeah!

As we all know that our weather here is so...so...so HOT, actually how many of us really commute to work. And for those who had passed their negative comments, are you commuting to work by bike in the first place???? Or you are still on your 4 wheelers.

So many car owners try to beat the ERP charges by driving to work early and others waiting for the peak hours to be over, then to flag a taxi........we all can do it the same for the folding bikes too.

The best way to make thing happen and move on positively, we should all give our feedback to LTA, so that they can understand better.

Is it so serious? Have you really seen many folding bikes takeing trains and buses????

Let's look forward to support the policy......everything will have to start from somewhere, and LTA just started it off here.

Cherlek said...

I just stumble onto this blog and found interesting on the topic of cycling in Singapore and in particular cycling to office.

I have been cycling to office for about a year now, about 11km one way. I am staying at Choa Chu Kang and my office is at Jurong East International Business Park.

I have tried out most of the possible routes, on the road/pavement, different hours etc. So far, I have found it practical to do it everyday, using my road bike, along mostly pavement/park connectors during peak hours.

When I get to office, I just have a quick shower and really feel fresh with that. I really hope to encourage more people to do it, even though our roads are not bicycle friendly, as the benefits out weighs the risks. Let me know if anyone wants to share cycling to work tidbits.

cherlek.toh@gmail.com

dclh said...

Hi Cherlek, good that you have found it practical and felt that benefits out weigh risks. I have bad experiences cycling along Choa Chu Kang road, hilly, many big trucks, narrow lanes and pavement, and lots of small rocks at side of road.

My main transport has been cycling and have cycled to virtually every parts of Singapore, and also some parts of JB. Yet, I don't think benefits out weigh risks, and thus, I never encourage others to do so.

I stayed in Toa Payoh, which is near the geographical centre of Singapore, and some of the places I had cycled to regularly are Peace Center, Macpherson ITE, Nanyang Poly, Temasek Poly, TJC, Chinatown, NUS, and NTU (weekly).

The trip to NTU is about 70 minutes, though shorter than 90 minutes by bus+train+bus+walk, it requires additional shower time. However, I perceive it as my exercise session and thus, I took 0 minutes to travel to NTU :)

Now, I am cycling much lesser because working in Novena.

Sorry if this is a bit off topic :)

dclh said...

Correction: TPY to NTU takes 80 minutes, not 70, though still possible but much more dangerous.

Anonymous said...

You know what I really think? The government has sent ppl to cities all over Europe to study the transport system. And I am suprised that nobody thought of replicating the Velib system of Paris.

Basically, there are hundreds of public bicycle rental kiosks in Paris with thousands of bikes available. You pay a subscription of 29 euros a year (S$63) and you can take any bicycle free for the first half hour. This kind of encourages ppl to quickly get to where they want to go and then return the bicycle at the kiosk nearest to their workplace.

In Singapore, I think it is possible to implement such a system using a satelite town system. For example, a network for CBD, orchard area and what have you. Another network for AMK etc etc. Whaddaya think?

Mike Choo said...

I'm travel to work daily along nicholl highway & always seeing few Ang Moh Biker cycling dangerously cutting lane without signal & event bullying cars & buses that needed the most left lane....basically their was a case on last Thrusday where this Ang Moh influx simply rided supper slowly in the middle of most left lane I think he think he is angmoh so is king so arrogant attitude that nearly causes me & others few vehicle a accident I should have horned at him but my wife said later he might send me a lawyer letter....see so many influx like them that come here & bully Singapore. Enough is Enough if any day I see him doing this again I will make sure he start learning to respect himself & others. Not sure is this ride along nicholl highway is against the law or not...should have inform the TP on this as this is so common at that hour between 7.30-8.15am everyday?