Public Transport Subsidy for Challenged People
1. What is Challengeds' Alliance Network! (CAN!) CAN! is not an organisation. It is a 'grounds-up' effort and merely a coming together of various Challenged People (or as commonly known ]Disabled People') for the Challenged People. We seek not to represent one segment of the challenged spectrum, but strive to embrace every challenged person (e.g. visually impaired, physically disabled, cerebral palsied, hearing impaired, intellectually disabled, epileptic, autistic, etc) under a common cause; because as different as our disabilities are, we also often share similar challenges; and it pays to come together to network and to voice our concerns collectively about these challenges and the possible solutions to them. 2. What is this Petition for Public Transport Subsidy all about Since at least 1999 (for at least 10 years, or a decade), some from the challenged people's community have been asking for public transport subsidy. We have met quite a few Members of Parliament and have written directly to the various government agencies and the public transport operators. To date, no action appears to have been taken on this issue. This petition is to make another plea, but this time a collective one, to especially the Ministry of Transport; but not only to them but to all concerned players including the public transport operators, Land Transport Authority and Public Transport Council to hear us. And not only to hear us, but to alleviate our burden a little by providing us subsidised travel on public transport. 3. Why is subsidised public transportation necessary for the Challenged People a. A large percentage of disabled people earn meager salaries, in many instances barely $200 - $300 per month. It is UNFAIR for us to pay at least a third of our earned income to pay for transportation. It is precisely on this basis that students, NS men and elderly are given transport subsidy; that they have little are no earning capacity and hence are justified of transport subsidy. We see no reason why this same principle cannot be applied to the Challenged People. b. There is an unwritten rule since colonial days that the visually impaired get to travel for free on the public transports when they show a card specifying that they are so. Today, many drivers of public transport (some of whom are foreigners employed by the public transport operators), are not aware of this historical unwritten rule. And even though the visually impaired seem to have this advantage on public transport; many among the visually impaired, do not want to be under the 'Mercy of the Drivers'. The challenged people (including the visually impaired) don't want hand-outs or remain at the mercy of anyone. Affordable transportation is but a RIGHT of all Challenged People. 4. Is such a subsidy difficult to make administratively In the past, the request for subsidy has been turned down citing that it was administratively difficult to give such a subsidy to the Challenged People. But the fact remains that subsidies have been made for students, NS men and elderly and if it can be administratively achieved for these segments, it can also be made for the challenged people. After all, the challenged people do belong to one registered society or another; and the subsidy could be easily given through the various societies, to its members. 5. What is our plea to the Ministry of Transport Stay true to your focus as highlighted in your website, 'to bring about efficient and cost-effective transportation to enhance our economic competitiveness and quality of life.' Such a subsidy if granted will raise the economic competitiveness and the quality of life for the challenged people. HELP US IN OUR QUEST FOR A LIFE OF DIGNITY! GIVE US THE CHALLENGED PEOPLE OUR TRANSPORT SUBSIDY!