Accessible Travel

Singapore is undoubtedly one of the most accessible cities in the world, as befits one of a handful of countries that have officially adopted Universal Design principles. A wide-ranging and long-term government campaign has seen major improvements in the accessibility of public infrastructure and transport. The footpaths in the city are in excellent repair, with ample kerb cuts and tactile paving. Elderly and disabled residents are issued with a card that can be tapped at pedestrian crossings to give them extra time to cross roads; this Green Man Plus scheme is unique in the world as far as we know.

All MRT stations have priority lifts, tactile wayfinding, easy-to-follow signage, visual and audible indicators in lifts and on platforms, and wheelchair-accessible toilets. More than half of public buses are wheelchair-accessible, with the whole fleet due to be wheelchair-accessible by 2020; almost all bus stops are already barrier-free. Wheelchair-accessible taxis can sometimes be flagged down, but Ezylimo (http://ezylimo.com/) can be contacted to book wheelchair-accessible maxicabs for airport transfers or transport around the island.

Almost all tourist attractions are wheelchair-friendly, including the cable car to Sentosa – although you need good wheelchair skills and/or nerves of steel to board the moving gondola! Singapore Zoo and the Gardens by the Bay complex make for particularly accessible outings.

Visit Singapore (http://www.visitsingapore.com/travel-guide-tips/getting-around/accessibility.html) gives further information about and links to accessibility on different modes of transport and the built environment.

The government maintains the Friendly Built Environment Portal (http://www.bca.gov.sg/friendlyBuilding/FindBuilding/FriendlyFeatures.aspx): a search engine for accessible buildings with a variety of filters, including type of building, user group (not only various disabilities, but also families with children and/or pushchairs), friendly features, and level of friendliness!

The Disabled People's Association Singapore (www.dpa.org.sg) can provide information on accessibility in Singapore.

Download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guides from http://lptravel.to/AccessibleTravel.