Empowering special needs individuals to navigate public transport with confidence: SBS Transit and Metta School collaboration

In a world that often rushes by in a blur of signs, noises and unfamiliar faces, navigating the public transport can be an overwhelming experience for many. For a 13-year-old with mild intellectual disability, the public transport can feel like a labyrinth, filled with sounds, complex signs and announcements. What might be routine tasks for other passengers - such as reading system maps, topping up fare cards, and understanding train routes - can be daunting endeavours for individuals with mild intellectual disability. However, thanks to the collaboration between SBS Transit and Metta School, they will now find it easier to travel on public transport independently with confidence.

The SBS Transit x Metta School Familiarisation Tours was officially kicked off this afternoon at the Downtown Line Tampines MRT Station by Mr Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment & Ministry of Transport. The familiarisation tours began last year with sessions at the Tampines Concourse Bus Interchange, and has now been extended to cover the entire public transport network, including the MRT system.

As part of the familiarisation tour, about 70 Metta students were introduced to the Downtown Line train network, which included an orientation and tour of the DTL Tampines MRT Station. Students engaged in hands-on activities, designed to equip them with essential commuting skills. From deciphering signs and understanding notices to mastering the MRT system map, operating top-up machines, and practicing proper etiquette and safety measures, the students immersed themselves in a comprehensive learning experience.

Ms Lum Kwai Yeow, Vice-Principal, Metta School said: “Metta School is most grateful to SBS Transit for partnering us to bring learning outside the confines of the classroom, which has truly enriched our students’ educational experience."

Mr Jeffrey Sim, Group Chief Executive Officer of SBS Transit, said: “Our partnership with Metta School underscores our commitment to nurturing an inclusive public transport ecosystem and empowering special needs students with important life skills. We are delighted to collaborate with Metta School in providing a safe and authentic learning environment for their students. This initiative is part of our commitment towards building a more inclusive society where every individual, regardless of their abilities, can navigate the world with confidence and independence.”