Friday, August 24, 2012

Hurrah for the $3.1 million Wheelchair Cab Grant, More or Less

This is one of the feel good news, mostly. SMRT won a $3.1 million MCYS grant to have 30 cabs that can ferry those modern motorised wheelchairs.

BTW cabbing around in wheelchairs is not cheap. NTUC Comfort's Maxicab is a flat $45 fee while SMRT's Starex has booking fees of $8 (now) and $16 (advance) on top of the meter fares. These special cabs only take the traditional wheelchairs, and the motorised wheelchair users can call Wheelchair Mini-Buses which is the cheapest in town with a $20 flat fee. OK now comes the criticism.

Nonetheless as a helping hand for the underdogs, would have been better if Wheelchair Mini-buses operated by the Handicaps Welfare Assc got the grant to expand its fleet of 20. Not sure if they knew of and competed for the grant though. Why should all-for-profit public transport giant SMRT get the grant when a not-for-profit HWA deserved and needed it more?

Who could have qualified and applied for this wheelchair ferry service grant besides cab companies? I don't know. Another good recipient should have been town councils operating such special cabs for its residents, charging them at a nominal fee of course for this welfare service. This is an extension of and conjunction with the Central Singapore Community Development Council's 6-months Mediwheels trial where people who have difficulty walking can rent a mobility scooter for $10 a month! Yes, $10 a month and this is a fantastic plan except to the hardest and harshest of critics. However, I doubt these motorised scooters can be used as a means of commuting from Bedok to Bishan. WTF imagine a feisty Bedok uncle with cigarette dangling from his mouth, sitting on a motorised scooter with ERP unit installed, cruising at 5km/hr on the leftest PIE lane and then exiting into Bishan somewhere near Toa Payoh. Sure kena STOMP by the usual assholes there as a road hog!

Bedok to Bishan! Can means can!


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