From 1 July 2022, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will increase subsidies under the Voluntary Welfare Organisation Transport Subsidy (VWOTS) Scheme, to reduce transport costs for persons with disabilities who take dedicated transport
to attend Special Education (SPED) Schools and community-based programmes. The VWOTS will also be renamed the ‘Enabling Transport Subsidy’.
Additional $2 million estimated to be disbursed per year
2. The VWOTS Scheme was introduced in 2014 to reduce transport costs for persons with disabilities who take dedicated transport to attend SPED Schools and community-based programmes. These programmes include Early Intervention Programmes for Infants and Children, Day Activity Centres, Sheltered Workshops, and Special Student Care Centres. The scheme is administered by SG Enable.
3. The amount of subsidy a person with disability can receive under the VWOTS Scheme depends on various factors, including citizenship, per capita household income (PCHI) and monthly transport fees. Those with lower monthly PCHI receive higher subsidy rates.
4. With effect from 1 July 2022, MSF will increase transport subsidies under the VWOTS Scheme for persons with disabilities with a monthly PCHI of up to $2,800. To illustrate, a wheelchair user with a monthly PCHI of up to $800 who currently pays $280 for transport after subsidies, will pay about $170 after an additional subsidy of $110. A wheelchair user with a monthly PCHI just below $2,800 who currently pays $450 for transport after subsidies, will pay $410 after an additional subsidy of $40.
5. More than 3,000 persons with disabilities are expected to benefit from the increased subsidies under the VWOTS Scheme. The enhanced subsidies will cost the Government an additional $2 million a year, an increase of about 20% from current funding levels.
Renaming VWOTS to Enabling Transport Subsidy
6. The VWOTS will be renamed the ‘Enabling Transport Subsidy’ (ETS) to better reflect the scheme’s aim of enabling persons with disabilities to attend SPED Schools and community-based programmes, so that they are empowered to pursue their aspirations and fully participate as integral and contributing members of society.
7. The enhancements to the ETS are part of a suite of initiatives to build an inclusive and fair society under the upcoming Enabling Masterplan 2030. More details about the Enabling Masterplan 2030 will be shared soon.
1. What other types of transport subsidies are there for persons with disabilities?
All persons with disabilities are eligible for concessionary fares under the Persons with Disabilities Concession Card. Cardholders will enjoy up to 55% off adult fares with no additional fares for distances beyond 7.2km.
Persons with disabilities who are unable to take public transport and need to take taxis or private hire vehicles to work, school, or for employment-related training may apply for the Taxi Subsidy Scheme. Those who are eligible can be subsidised up to 80% of the taxi fare.
Note Students in SPED Schools are eligible for student concession cards.
More information on transport subsidies available for persons with disabilities
2. Why is the Government increasing the subsidy level for ETS now?
We regularly review our schemes to ensure that adequate support is provided to persons with disabilities and their caregivers. The enhancements being implemented are to defray the increase in cost of transport over the years for persons with disabilities and their caregivers.
3. How will the subsidy be disbursed?
There is no change to the disbursement process of the subsidy. SG Enable will disburse the subsidy amount to the social service agencies to offset the cost of the transport fee. The social service agencies will advise on the net transport fees clients are required to pay. The new subsidies will take effect from 1 July 2022.