Travelling as a wheelchair user can be difficult, especially when one requires assistance to board or alight from a vehicle.
An elderly wheelchair user and her daughter found themselves faced with an impatient bus captain who allegedly raised his voice at them as they were trying to board SBS Transit bus 147, which departs from Hougang interchange.
A passenger who witnessed the incident took to the Complaint Singapore Facebook group to recount what happened.
While SBS Transit apologised for the driver’s behaviour, the company denied allegations that he had driven dangerously.
In her post, Facebook user Mrs Lim shared that a woman had approached the bus captain at Hougang interchange as she needed the ramp to push her mother, a wheelchair user, onto the bus.
However, instead of being understanding, the bus captain allegedly scolded the pair in Mandarin. Mrs Lim claimed that he blamed them for not letting him know earlier, causing him to have to reposition the bus to deploy the ramp for them to board.
He then expressed his frustration by slamming the wheelchair ramp onto the floor.
Mrs Lim wrote that the bus captain’s sudden burst of anger came as a shock to all the passengers, most of whom were elderly.
She told MS News that the middle-aged bus captain displayed “bad emotion” throughout the ride, driving in an “unstable” manner and venting his anger by jam-braking at each bus stop.
He apparently remained discourteous towards the mother-daughter pair till the end, forcefully flipping the ramp again as they were alighting.
Mrs Lim ended her post by urging SBS Transit to look into the matter. She also appealed to the bus captain to be more empathetic.
In response to MS News’ queries, Mrs Grace Wu, Vice President (Special Grade), Customer Experience and Communications at SBS Transit said that they have conducted an investigation and reviewed CCTV footage.
They found that the wheelchair user and her daughter were not waiting at the designated wheelchair boarding point. Therefore, the bus captain had to manoeuvre the vehicle twice and physically check if the ramp could be safely deployed.
SBS Transit acknowledged that the bus captain had made a loud remark to the passengers as he had to take more time to manoeuvre the bus. Had they waited at the proper boarding point, he would have averted the additional time he took.
For this, SBS Transit apologised and reprimanded the bus captain.
This is unacceptable and we apologise for his lapse. We have since reminded him to be more customer-centric.
Regarding the deployment of the ramp, SBS Transit explained that the bus captain suffers from a back injury which prevents him from being able to bend down fully to place the ramp gently on the ground.
“Hence, there was a slightly loud sound when the ramp was deployed, but it was not due to anger or aggression on the Bus Captain’s part”, SBS Transit told MS News.
According to SBS Transit, their investigation also indicated that there was no instance of unsafe driving and no abrupt or sudden braking applied throughout the journey.
Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image adapted from Facebook and Google Maps.
This weather really got to go.
The suspension will last until 6 Jun.
It will see new eateries and lifestyle offerrings in the 6,000 square feet premises.
It was the first time the OP had experienced this.
He reportedly did so after watching Tom and Jerry.
Most netizens criticised her, pointing out that the girl could've gotten injured.