The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), together with the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), have awarded grants to three operators to provide dedicated transport services to persons with disabilities.
The three operators are Handicaps Welfare Association (HWA), EK Ang Trading and Transport Pte Ltd and Silveray Pte Ltd (see Annex A for details). The operators were selected from an open grant application exercise. Applicants were assessed on criteria such as knowledge of working with persons with disabilities, service standards, training and safety standards, business model and proposed fees.
The total of the grants awarded is $4 mil. The grant to HWA, a voluntary welfare organisation and NCSS member, was co-funded by donations raised by the Community Chest1.
The grants will go towards defraying the cost of purchasing and retrofitting 33 new vans or buses. This will increase the capacity of the transport operators to serve persons with disabilities. It will also enable the operators to achieve better efficiency and standards.
The operators’ priority is to serve persons with disabilities who are using community-based disability services2 or attending special education schools. The operators have also committed to keeping their fees affordable. Users of their service may also be eligible for the transport subsidies from MSF.
Minister for Social and Family Development, Mr Chan Chun Sing said, “Today, VWOs serving persons with disabilities often face difficulty operating in-house transport services or engaging external transport providers. I believe that this new service can help them meet their beneficiaries’ transport needs, and enable them to better focus on further developing on their core services.”
Other Transport Initiatives
The dedicated transport service is the latest in a series of transport initiatives introduced by the government for persons with disabilities. Other recent efforts to improve transport options for persons with disabilities include the funding of a wheelchair-accessible taxi fleet; introduction of public transport concessions and introduction of transport subsidies for those taking VWO-arranged transport and taxis.
Annex A - Information on Transport Operators
|Handicaps Welfare Association
The Handicaps Welfare Association (HWA) was founded in 1969. HWA’s mission is to enhance the quality of life of persons with disabilities and help them integrate into mainstream society.
Since 1980, HWA has provided many persons with physical disabilities with affordable and convenient transport. With a fleet of specially retrofitted vehicles, HWA provides a much needed transport service for persons with mobility-related disabilities for the purposes of work, school, vocational training, hospital/rehabilitation visits and recreational activities.,With this grant, HWA will continue to focus their energies and expand their resources to meet the increasing demand for the disability community.
|EK Ang Trading and Transport Pte Ltd
EK Ang Trading and Transport Pte Ltd is a local transport company founded in 1980. With over 30 years of experience in providing transportation services, EK Ang strives to ease transport difficulties faced by special needs passengers by providing affordable and reliable transportation, restoring their mobility and encouraging integration into society.
The company is a staple provider to a growing number of organisations including the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS), Asian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA) and Rainbow Centre.,With the grant, EK Ang would be able to increase coverage on special needs transportation and expand its capabilities in serving the disability community.
|Silveray Pte Ltd
Silveray Pte Ltd was founded in 2009 to bridge the gap for a more efficient, convenient and safer transportation alternative for wheelchair users and persons with mobility issues.,Silveray believes in providing a safe, dependable and dignified transport for them so that they can have freedom to travel.
Currently, Silveray provides transport to persons with disabilities using services at Rainbow Centre.,With the grant, Silveray will expand their transport service for persons with mobility issues to more VWOs and their beneficiaries.