Bringing your personal mobility device (PMD) or foldable bike on public transport may seem daunting if you’re unsure of Land Transport Authority (LTA) rules and regulations.
Being an intern here at Mighty Velo, I’ve often had to go out for shoots with the various products. Having said that, I took public transport with our products such as the ES2 e-scooter and CarryMe folding bicycle plenty of times, so I have gotten quite familiarised with the rules and regulations that come with taking public transport with a PMD and folding bike.
Which devices are allowed on public transport?
All devices are allowed on public transport as long as they do not exceed the folded size of 120cm by 70cm by 40cm as permitted by LTA.
The new allowed dimensions were determined according to the previous allowable dimensions for foldable bicycles (114cm by 64cm by 36 cm).
Fun fact: Mighty Velo became the first to propose the idea of bringing foldable bicycles onto Public Transport to the Minister of Transport, Mrs. Lim Hwee Hwa at a transport forum in 2006. This led to detailed planning and discussion that saw a six-month trial scheme take place in 2007.
A permanent scheme took effect in 2008, allowing foldable bikes onto public transport during off-peak hours.
Use the size checkers available in MRT stations
If you are still uncertain about whether your device follows the size limit, you may refer to a size checker. The size checker is true to measurement and is typically found in MRT stations and bus interchanges. This will help you to gauge if your device is fit to be brought on public transport.
If you’re still unsure, you can always ask the station staff or bus driver to determine if your PMD can be brought onto the train or bus.
Thankfully, I never had any trouble with bringing any of the e-scooters or folding bicycles onto buses and trains.
Can I bring my non-foldable PMD onto public transport?
Non-foldable PMDs and bicycles are allowed on public transport, provided they do not exceed the size requirement.
Some non-foldable PMDs, such as unicycles and hoverboards, do not exceed the measurement and therefore are allowed on public transport whereas most non-foldable bicycles exceed allowable dimensions and cannot be brought onto trains and buses.
However, most e-scooters are non-foldable and do not comply with the size requirement set by LTA.
Thankfully, this wasn’t an issue for me as all the devices I’ve brought onto public transport so far are foldable so I was able to have a smooth journey on trains and buses.
Are PMDs allowed on public transport during peak hours?
Foldable bicycles and PMDs are allowed on public transport all day, every day!
Rules for taking public transport with your PMD/foldable bike
When bringing your PMD and/or foldable bike on public transport, there are several rules to be observed.
Your device must be folded in the MRT or LRT stations, bus interchanges or terminals and on trains and buses. They have to remain folded to prevent accidents where other commuters end up tripping over your device.
Considering the safety of others, you are not allowed to ride your PMD or bicycle within the MRT or LRT stations and bus interchanges or bus terminals.
All motorised PMDs must be switched off when brought on trains and buses.
When you’re taking public transport, remember that you’re in a shared space with other commuters and you should always practice consideration towards them.
Use the wide fare gates at MRT and LRT stations when you’re taking the train with a folding bike or PMD. You don’t want a situation where you end up getting stuck at the gantry and obstruct the flow of traffic. Trust me, been there done that and it was not fun at all.
You should always board the train using the first or last carriage at both ends of the train as they are usually less crowded. It’s good for both you and the other commuters because you don’t run the risk of getting looks or getting scolded by them for taking up too much space on the train. Also, you will have an easier time getting out of the train when it’s not so packed.
Additionally, you shouldn’t block the doors or aisles of the train and bus to prevent obstruction to others.
What happens if I fail to abide by the rules?
If you do not comply with the rules, you will be stopped from boarding the train or bus by the station staff and bus captains.
Offenders can also receive a fine of up to $500 for each offence.
While all these rules may be confusing at first, it is important that we follow the LTA code of conduct when riding public transport with our foldable bicycles and PMDs.
It’s important that everybody practices graciousness towards each other in order to have a pleasant public transport experience.
These rules were implemented to ensure all commuters are safe, and with graciousness and consideration towards others, we can ensure a safer and more comfortable ride for everybody.