Heart Zone to be expanded to Jurong East And Novena MRT stations
Success of initiative affirms caring commuting culture in Singapore
Following the success of the first Heart Zone at Outram Park MRT Station, the Public Transport Council (PTC) together with the Land Transport Authority (LTA), SMRT Trains, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) and Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), will launch similar Heart Zones at Jurong East and Novena MRT Stations. This is in line with the recommendations from PTC’s Second Advisory Report released early this year, and is an affirmation of Singapore’s caring commuting culture.
2. Launched in 2017, Heart Zone is part of a wider initiative by PTC, LTA and public transport operators to provide ways for our commuters to assist fellow commuters who may need help on their public transport journey. The objective is to instill a caring commuting culture in Singapore’s public transport system.
3. Said Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Health:
“The Heart Zone initiative is a great example of community co-creation by PTC, LTA, SMRT and hospital staff with members of the public to improve the commuter experience. We received very good feedback on the Heart Zone launched at Outram Park Station last year. We even had commuters suggesting other locations for new Heart Zones. PTC’s decision to expand this initiative to Novena and Jurong East is a welcome one, especially for those who need assistance getting to the nearby hospitals. Indeed, our public transport system should be one that serves all Singaporeans, and Heart Zone is a step in the right direction towards a caring commuting culture in Singapore.”
Heart Zone @ Novena
4. Heart Zone @ Novena will be set up at Meeting Point ‘A’ of Novena MRT station for commuters who need help getting to TTSH or other healthcare facilities within the upcoming HealthCity Novena*. Wheelchairs will be available at the Heart Zone to enable elderly patients and visitors to navigate with greater ease.
5. Additionally, TTSH is leading a ‘Walk-with-Me’ social movement aimed at encouraging those working or living in the Novena area to proactively look out for and assist commuters who may need help finding their way around HealthCity Novena.
6. Said Dr Eugene Fidelis Soh, Chief Executive Officer, Tan Tock Seng Hospital:
“There will be many patients who visit the HealthCity Novena for the first time. Some may need help with finding the easiest way to their destination while others may just need a helping hand to move around. Our Walk-with-Me social movement aims to remind us that care starts from outside the hospital and sometimes, all that’s needed is the companionship to help walk part of the way, starting from the Heart Zone.”
Heart Zone @ Jurong East
7. Heart Zone @ Jurong East expands on the patient-centric initiatives of NTFGH and Jurong Community Hospital (JCH) to enable easier access to the hospitals. Under the Jurong Lake Masterplan, these twinned hospitals were designed to deliver seamless care for the community in the west, and are connected via link bridges to neighbouring buildings and public transport nodes via URA’s J-Walk elevated pedestrian network.
8. In addition to staff, the hospitals are recruiting advocates and providing wheelchairs at the station for elderly patients and visitors who need assistance getting to the hospitals.
9. Said Mr Foo Hee Jug, Chief Executive Officer, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital:
“While our integrated hospitals are directly connected to the Jurong East transport systems, elderly patients and those with mobility challenges will appreciate the extra help to navigate their way to our hospitals, which can be very crowded during peak hours.”
Forging a caring commuting culture in Singapore
10. Members of the public are welcome to extend a helping hand to fellow commuters, especially during peak medical appointment hours. Heart Zone @ Jurong East will be available on weekdays, from 8 am to 10 am. Heart Zone @ Novena will be available on weekdays, from 7.30 am to 1.00 pm. (Please refer to Annex A for the exact locations of the Heart Zones at Novena and Jurong East MRT Stations.)
11. Said Mr Richard Magnus, Chairman of Public Transport Council
“The positive reception from commuters has been overwhelming. I am delighted that the Heart Zone initiative has been expanded to Novena and Jurong East. Co-creation efforts such as Heart Zone encourage a more inclusive transport experience and our commuters like to have the chance to do something good through simple gestures. Our public transport operators, authorities and institutions will continue to partner our commuters to grow a more welcoming and caring public transport experience for all.”
12. Said Mr Lee Ling Wee, Chief Executive Officer for SMRT Trains:
“Our public transport ridership is growing each year. As we work hard to renew the network to improve the system’s reliability and performance, we are also looking at ways to keep the network accessible and inclusive. Initiatives such as the Heart Zone complement SMRT’s ongoing efforts to improve the commuter travel experience for all.”
13. Said Mr Yeo Teck Guan, Group Director for Public Transport at the Land Transport Authority (LTA):
“We are very happy to be part of this initiative which fosters a positive commuter culture. It is indeed a heart-warming sight to see commuters helping their fellow commuters. Our public transport system has been made all the better with the encouragement of such a caring commuting culture.”
*HealthCity Novena is an upcoming integrated healthcare development, anchored by key healthcare institutions to provide holistic care, health services, research and education, and leisure and public spaces in one campus.