(Photo: SBS Transit)
Head down to Toa Payoh Bus Interchange and you will be greeted by vibrant murals of nostalgic games and activities that many of our seniors would be familiar with.
This is part of a collaborative effort between SBS Transit and Dementia Singapore called “Find Your Way”, which aims to help persons with dementia navigate bus interchanges and MRT stations with ease. The first of its kind in our local public transport nodes, the initiative was launched by Senior Minister of State for Transport and Member of Parliament for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, Mr Chee Hong Tat, at Toa Payoh Interchange, on 7 February 2022. He was also joined by Dementia Singapore CEO, Mr Jason Foo, SBS Transit CEO, Mr Cheng Siak Kian, Land Transport Authority Deputy Chief Executive, Public Transport & Policy Planning, Mr Jeremy Yap, and Public Transport Council Chairman, the late Mr Richard Magnus.
Also in attendance were Dementia Singapore’s Voices for Hope graduates and dementia self-advocates Mr Anjang Rosli and Ms Emily Ong, who were advisors to this initiative and had the chance to see Toa Payoh Interchange’s brand-new look unveiled. The media were also given a tour of the bus interchange at the launch.
A lively chat! SMS Chee speaks with Anjang and Emily about the initiative. (Photo: SBS Transit)
Toa Payoh Bus Interchange’s Makeover
One of the popular games of yesteryear, paper balls, placed on pillars leading to the berths at Toa Payoh Bus Interchange. (Photo: SBS Transit)
“Find Your Way” was inspired by studies that have shown that reminiscence can indeed stimulate parts of the brain that deal with long-term memory and cognition.
As such, Toa Payoh Bus Interchange’s dementia-friendly makeover constituted dividing it into five distinct zones, with each zone represented by a colour-coded illustration of a childhood game – five stones, chapteh, paper balls, marbles and ‘longkang’ fishing – plastered on its walls. These zones are complemented by directional floor stickers to help persons with dementia and seniors remember their way to their respective boarding berths.
SMS Chee shares with an elderly commuter about how the floor stickers at Toa Payoh Bus Interchange can assist with wayfinding. (Photo: SBS Transit)
The Road Ahead
The launch of the “Find Your Way” initiative at Toa Payoh Bus Interchange marks the start of a slew of changes progressively extended to other bus interchanges and MRT stations frequented by elderly passengers.
Said SMS Chee in a Facebook post on launch day: “Under the Land Transport Master Plan 2040, we are working towards making our public transport system more inclusive to meet the diverse needs of our commuters. I do hope the colour-coded murals will make the bus interchange safer, more inclusive and more accessible for commuters with dementia, and also visually interesting for other commuters.”
Find out more about this initiative and check out Toa Payoh Bus Interchange’s brand-new look here.
Check out the “Find Your Way” initiative featured in the news!