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Singapore Government

Commuting made easier and more affordable for persons with disabilities

Commuting made easier and more affordable for persons with disabilities


Published On
27 Jul 2017

TAXI SUBSIDY SCHEME TO BE ENHANCED WHILE CARPARK LABEL SCHEME REVISED

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will enhance the Taxi Subsidy Scheme so that persons with disabilities can better access and afford the use of taxis to commute to school, work and employability training.

2. The enhancement supports the recommendations in the Third Enabling Masterplan, which called for transportation needs of persons with disabilities to be made more accessible, so that they can participate in activities in the community.

Enhancements to the Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS)

3. While efforts to improve the accessibility of persons with disabilities to travel on public transport have been made over the years with accessible bus stops, MRT stations and buses, some persons with disabilities are unable to make use of these services due to their specific disabilities and needs. The Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS) was thus introduced in 2014 as an affordable and accessible transport option for persons with disabilities who may need to travel by taxis to school or work.

4. From 1 August 2017, the following enhancements will be made to the TSS:

  • A. The TSS will be extended to more households. Households with monthly per capita income of up to $2,600 will be eligible for TSS subsidies, up from $1,800 previously.
  • B. The level of subsidy support will be increased, from 50 per cent to 80 per cent of the cost of travelling for the highest subsidy tier.
  • C. The TSS will be extended to those attending employment-related training supported by SG Enable.
  • D. The TSS will also be extended to LTA-registered private hire cars under third party private hire car booking service providers such as Grab and Uber. This will provide more transport options to meet the needs of persons with disabilities.

5. These enhancements are estimated to cost the government an additional $2.5m over the next five years. This is $0.5m more a year from the current $200,000 annual utilisation. The number of beneficiaries is expected to increase from the current 80 beneficiaries to about 200 to 300 beneficiaries by 2021.

Revisions to the Car Park Label Scheme (CPLS)

6. There has been collective effort on the part of the government agencies to enhance accessibility for persons with physical disabilities. The enhanced BCA code has enabled greater access to built infrastructure. Persons with disabilities as well as elderly and parents with children on strollers benefit from an increase in the number of drop-off points at various amenities and HDB flats to enable easier boarding and alighting. The Ministry has also been working with relevant agencies to meet the increasing demand for accessible car park lots for persons with disabilities who drive their own car. Despite these efforts, many still have difficulty finding accessible car park lots.

7. The MSF and the Ministry of National Development have consulted stakeholders, including persons with disabilities and their caregivers, Voluntary Welfare Organisations and public car parks enforcement agencies such as the Housing and Development Board and the Urban Redevelopment Authority in revising the CPLS. There was consensus to reserve accessible lots for those who require additional space for alighting and boarding their vehicles.

8. The Car Park Label Scheme (CPLS) for persons with disabilities will be revised from 1 November 2017 to ensure that only persons with disabilities who use bulky mobility aids such as wheelchairs and walking frames will be eligible for accessible car park lots. This will apply to all applications from 1 November 2017. Existing car park label holders who do not meet the new eligibility criteria will have their term of support expire according to their current expiry dates, after which any application for renewals will be subject to the revised eligibility criteria.

9. The car park labels have also been redesigned to better manage the use of accessible car park lots. The enhanced features include larger label size with tamper proof hologram and larger fonts for ease of visibility by enforcement officers on the ground. Class 2 labels will be fitted with a time disc so that enforcement officers can monitor drivers' adherence to the one hour allocated to park in these lots.

10. All new successful applicants and existing label holders will be issued with the redesigned labels from mid- August 2017 onwards. This will enable existing label holders ample time to switch over to the new redesigned labels. Car park label holders will need to display the new labels from 1 November 2017 to minimise confusion for car park label holders, enforcement officers, as well as members of the public in having to distinguish between old labels and new labels. For existing label holders the new car park labels will carry the same expiry date as their existing labels.


Annex A 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS)

1. Who is the TSS for and when was it rolled out? The TSS is for persons with permanent disabilities who are medically certified as unable to take public transport, and totally dependent on taxis for travelling to school or work. It was rolled out on 1 October 2014.

2. What is the eligibility criteria of the TSS? To qualify for the TSS, eligible candidates must be:

  • Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Certified as having a permanent disability and is medically certified as unable to take public transport and dependent on taxis for travelling to school or work
  • A working adult or student
    • Adults who are in employment
    • Students attending mainstream schools or Institutes of Higher Learning (e.g. Polytechnics, ITEs and Universities) that are registered or recognised by the Ministry of Education (MOE)
  • Students attending private educational institutes registered with MOE or with the Committee of Private Education (CPE) with a minimum course duration of two months

 Candidates must also:

  • Have a per capita household income (PCI) of $1,800 per month and below.
  • Not own any vehicle
  • Not concurrently enjoying subsidies under the VWO Transport Subsidies'

From 1 August 2017 onwards:

  • Extended to trainees attending employment-related training courses approved by SGE
  • PCI of $2,600 per month and below

3. Could you share more details on the enhanced TSS subsidy levels?

Details on the enhanced TSS subsidy levels, which will take effect from 1 August 2017, are shown in Table 1 below.

Table 1. Existing and Enhanced Taxi Subsidy Scheme

Monthly Per Capita Income

Current Subsidy Rates

Enhanced Subsidy Rates (wef. 1 August 2017)

SC

PR

SC

PR

$0 to $700

50%

25%

80%

55%

$701 to $1,100

40%

20%

75%

50%

$1,101 to $1,600

30%

15%

60%

40%

$1,601 to $1,800

20%

10%

50%

30%

$1,801 to $2,600

0%


0%


30%

15%

Above $2,600

0%

0%

 

3. Could you share more information on the SGE's approved training courses? The list of approved training courses can be found at the following website: http://employment.sgenable.sg/training/training-programmes/.

4. Could you illustrate how a typical beneficiary would stand to benefit from the TSS enhancements?

Example 1

Mr Tan has a household income of $2,400 (or monthly per capita income of $600 based on his 4-member household size) His taxi fares cost him about 960 a month. With the enhancements, the amount he will save per month is as follows:

Under Current Scheme
Monthly per capita income band: $0 - $700
Subsidy rate: 50 per cent
Taxi fares before subsidy: $960
Out-of-pocket payment after subsidies: $960 x 50 per cent = $480

From 1 August 2017
Monthly per capita income band: $0 - $700
Subsidy rate: 80 per cent
Taxi fares before subsidy: $960
Out-of-pocket payment after subsidies: $960 x 20 per cent = $192

Hence, the amount Mr Tan will save per month is ($480-192) = $288

Example 2

Ms Siti has a household income of $12,000 (or monthly per capita income of $2,400 based on a 5-member household size). Her taxi fares cost her about $1,200. With the enhancements, the amount she will save per month is as follows:

Under Current Scheme
Monthly per capita income band: Above $1,800
Subsidy rate: Not eligible
Taxi fares before subsidy: $1,200
Out-of-pocket payment after subsidies: $1,200

From 1 August 2017
Monthly per capita income band: $1,801 - $2,600
Subsidy rate: 30 per cent
Taxi fares before subsidy: $1,200
Out-of-pocket payment after subsidies: $1,200 x 70 per cent = $840
Hence, the amount Ms Siti will save per month is ($1,200 - $840) = $360

Car Park Label Scheme (CPLS)

1. What is the CPLS?

The CPLS allows eligible persons with physical disabilities to embark and disembark from their vehicles in accessible parking lots by displaying a special vehicle label.

There are two types of labels:

  • Class 1 Label - For drivers who are medically certified as having physical disabilities and requiring the use of mobility aids. The label allows the driver to park in a designated lot.
  • Class 2 Label - For passengers with physical disabilities or Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) with vehicles ferrying passengers with physical disabilities regularly. The label allows the caregiver-drivers to park in a designated lot for up to 60 minutes to assist the passenger to board or alight. Thereafter the vehicle must be shifted to a standard parking lot to free up the accessible lot to other eligible users.

2. Could you share examples of mobility aids that are currently covered but will be excluded under the revised eligibility criteria?

Table 1: Eligibility Criteria under CPLS Today and from 1 Nov 2017

Criteria

Eligible

Today?

Eligible from

1 Nov 2017?

Using crutches

Yes

No

Using quad-sticks

Yes

No

Using wheelchairs

Yes

Yes

Using walking frames

Yes

Yes

Using lower-limb prostheses

Yes

Yes

 

3. How are the new labels different from existing ones? How will the new design prevent indiscriminate use of the accessible car park lots?

The diagram below shows the current and new Class 1 and 2 Car Park Labels, and the enhancements to the design of the labels.

 

Besides the changes that make key information on the labels more prominent, the new Class 2 label has a rotatable time disc which requires the Class 2 label holder or caregiver driver to indicate their arrival time. This makes it easier for enforcement agencies to monitor the use of accessible lots by Class 2 label holders and reduce the misuse of these lots.

4. Will there be a grace period for existing label holders?

Enforcement officers on the ground will provide a grace period from 1 November to 31 December should existing label holders be found to be displaying the old labels. This grace period will be followed with stricter enforcements from January next year in ensuring that the accessible car park lots are available for persons with disabilities who need them the most.

5. How will stricter enforcement be carried out after the grace period?

From 1 January 2018, vehicles without a valid car park label and Class 2 label holders who park in the accessible lot for more than an hour will be fined $200. The $200 applies to all types of vehicles parking illegally within the accessible lots. For recalcitrant offenders, HDB/URA will take tougher measures, such as imposing heavier fines (up to $400) and towing away the vehicles.

6. How have the number of label holders increased over the years?

The number of CPLS label holders has increased and demand is expected to increase further as our population continues to age. Table 1 below shows the number of new label holders in the last 5 years.

Table 1: No. of New CPLS Label Holders


2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Class 1

346

369

377

257

305

Class 2

927

1087

1229

1299

1453

Total

1273

1456

1606

1556

1758

7. Could you share some examples of the efforts made to improve accessibility of public transport and built infrastructure?

Examples of the steps that have been taken include:

  • Retrofitting of lifts at pedestrian overhead bridges - 47 overhead bridges adjacent to major public transport nodes, health institutions, welfare homes, homes for the aged and schools for special needs children will have lifts by 2018;
  • All zebra crossings and signalised pedestrian crossings are barrier-free;
  • 1,000 Green Man Plus traffic lights by 2018, which give additional crossing time to the elderly and persons with disabilities;
  • HDB's multi-storey carparks installed with lifts, where feasible;
  • All MRT stations, bus interchanges and 97 per cent of bus shelters are barrier-free;
  • 92 per cent of our public buses are wheelchair-accessible. All will be accessible by 2020;
  • More than 94 per cent of the taxi stands registered with LTA are barrier-free; and
  • Expansion of the Silver Zone programme to 50 by 2023 to improve road safety for less mobile pedestrians with additional traffic calming measures such as lower speed limits, pinch points and chicanes.

For more information on accessibility efforts with public transport and built infrastructure, please refer to the following websites:

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