SINGAPORE – During an MRT ride from Bishan to Sembawang, an injured flamingo hobbles into the train cabin.
With a shimmer, mascot “Stand-up Stacey” emerges from a sticker on the cabin’s wall. She asks a lion engrossed in his mobile phone to give up his seat and the wild cat obliges, apologising for having been carried away.
This magical scenario and others play out in a colourful book that kindergarten kids from PCF Sparkletots have created with the Land Transport Authority (LTA). It was launched at the latter’s headquarters on Friday (Nov 26), and can be collected at all McDonald’s outlets with each purchase of a Happy Meal from Dec 18.
In “Max & Robbie’s Magical Train Ride”, a young boy, Max, and his best friend, raccoon Robbie, offer to deliver food to his grandparents, encountering animal characters on their way who need a reminder from the LTA’s “Thoughtful Bunch” mascots.
“Stand-Up Stacey”, “Move-In Martin”, “Give-Way Glenda”, “Bag-Down Benny” and “Hush-Hush Hannah” appear in creative ways to guide koalas, giraffes and others to the right behaviour.
The scenarios are thought out by kids from PCF Sparkletots at Block 723 Nee Soon Central and were put on paper by a vendor.
The back cover of the book comes with a snakes and ladders-like game, where kids can use a dice created from “Thoughtful Bunch” templates to practise what they have learnt. They can also make finger puppets and try to navigate a maze.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Baey Yam Keng said at the launch: “Gracious commuting culture will need time to develop. It’s especially important that we cultivate these good virtues and social habits from young.
“It is very significant that we are working with PCF Sparkletots pre-schoolers to come up with the story because a story from the kids will relate better to the younger generation.”
He added that this does not remove adults from the process, who must continue to be role models for those who are younger.
LTA said it will hold a contest on its social media channels for 10 participants to win a physical copy of the book.
It can also be downloaded on the LTA website and loaned from all public libraries from mid-December.
LTA’s graciousness on public transport campaign began in 2009 and is in its 12th year. The “Thoughtful Bunch” was rolled out in 2014, and given a makeover last year by students from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.
Pre-pandemic, about 7.6 million trips were made every day on MRT trains and buses.