This was an increase on the 425 awards given out last year.
The high quality of service rendered by these transport service professionals plays a critical role in encouraging more Singaporeans to use public transport, in addition to the infrastructure improvements being made, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said at the awards ceremony at the School of the Arts on Friday.
Mr Lui noted that 63 per cent of travel within Singapore is done on public transport, which translates to an average 7 million trips on buses, trains and taxis every day. And the figure will jump to 75 per cent by 2030, he noted.
“We know that to encourage more Singaporeans to use public transport, they must feel that public transport is of a high quality, and that their commute is safe, comfortable and reliable,” Mr Lui said.
“To achieve this, just building the hardware and infrastructure is not sufficient. The quality of service provided by transport personnel to the commuters, as well as the behaviour of commuters themselves, are also critical.”
COMMUTERS HAVE A ROLE TO PLAY
That said, he recognised that frontline work in public transportation is “by no means easy”, especially when encountering rude passengers or having put in a long shift.
This is why commuters also have a role to play in contributing to the overall experience, for themselves and their fellow commuters, the minister said.
To this end, the Land Transport Authority (LTA), together with the Public Transport Council and Singapore Kindness Movement, has rolled out a number of initiatives to promote graciousness on public transport, such as LTA’s “Bring Out the Thoughtfulness in You” campaign featuring cartoon characters like Give-Way Glenda.
“I hope for more commuters to reciprocate kindness, cooperate with requests to move to the back of the bus, or even just to flash a smile or return a greeting,” Mr Lui said. “Ultimately, the public transport experience is only as good as all of us make it to be.”
MEET THE KINDNESS CHAMPIONS
At the event, three kindness champions were nominated for their exemplary customer service. They are:
- Madam Mas Siti, a TransitLink customer service officer, acknowledged for her commitment to passenger needs.
- Mr Lim Keng Seong, a taxi driver for Comfort DelGro, recognised for going the extra mile for his passengers and other road users.
- Mr V Ramjee, a senior bus captain for SMRT, chosen for his positive service attitude and initiative.
First published in ChannelNewsAsia – October 24, 2014