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Passengers with children should adapt to transport system, not vice versa

I refer to the letters “Let’s learn from Zurich’s family-friendly public transport” (Jan 16) and “Public buses are not child-friendly” (Jan 13).

Margaret Soh

I refer to the letters “Let’s learn from Zurich’s family-friendly public transport” (Jan 16) and “Public buses are not child-friendly” (Jan 13).

Much as it is ideal to be always able to accommodate all users of our public transport, I hope to share, having used the public transport system here, in Zurich and the United Kingdom, that we face more challenging constraints.

The critical mass of public transport users and traffic conditions, especially during peak hours, are key differences.

Our passenger load is mostly higher than in these places despite the increasing peak-hour frequency.

Unavoidably, most of our public transport users are also in a rush or tired and less likely to be considerate of other passengers.

I have empathised with and helped mothers travelling alone and struggling with pushchairs and their young children.

Fortunately, such cases are rare and these mothers are often accompanied by other family members.

The bus drivers are generally professional and helpful, but it is too much to expect them to look out for every passenger’s comfort and monitor both doors in crowded buses.

Managing an honour system to ensure all passengers pay their fares or be fined, as in the case of Zurich, would be another challenge.

It is hence important for anyone travelling with young children, as with special needs passengers, to adapt accordingly to our reliable public transit system.

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