The following is an appeal letter sent to the Public Transport Council today by CAN!, a network group of people with disabilities.
Mr Gerard Ee
Public Transport Council
Dear Mr Ee
Although the fare adjustment would be another added burden for the people with disability, we welcome the news that now concession hours for the elderly is extended to the full-day, throughout the week.
Once again, we write to you to appeal for subsidy of fares for people with disabilities on public transportation. Not all people with disabilities are children, students or senior citizens, to enjoy the subsidy given to these by the public transport operators.
The various other help schemes highlighted by you in your letter dated 7 December 2009, has limitations of scope and capacity, and besides the assorted constituency-based targeted financial help, all the other schemes do not address the need for public transportation for the people with disabilities to be subsidised. As for the constituency-based targeted financial help, not all CCCs provide such financial assistance for transportation purposes, and even if they do, it is limited.
Many people with disabilities who are not children, students or senior citizens, work as buskers, masseuse or telemarketers. Many more are unable to work, due to their severe disabilities but would have to travel to hospitals and other places of necessities or leisure, and the unsubsidised fares on our public transportation are a major burden to these group of Singaporeans.
Most more able people with disabilities earn no more than $600 per month working full-time; and to spend more than $100 of this hard-earned money for transportation would mean that we would have very little to take back home after all the other deductions.
We are not asking for sympathy, even if charity is most welcomed, we are not asking for charity. We are asking for dignity with this appeal for concession on our public transports.
With the implementation of distance-based fare system and with the progressive decision made by PTC to extend all-day concessionary travel for the elderly, the PTC has now got to reconsider more carefully the issue of subsidy for the less able members of our country.
The measure of civilisation is how it treats its weakest members. We ask PTC to recommend to the public transport operators that subsidy be extended to the people with disabilities who are not children, students or senior citizens as well.
Thanking you in anticipation.
Mr Lui Tuck Yew
Ms Sylvia Lim
MP for Aljunied GRC
The following is PTC's reply to CAN! on their earlier appeal.
CAN!'s website is HERE.