On-demand bus trial starts in Singapore

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Singapore is launching a six-month trial of an on-demand public bus service on December 1, using technology to reduce congestion and costs in what could be a model for gridlocked cities in the region. Commuters can request pickups and drop-offs at any bus stop within a designated area through a mobile app, the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a statement.

The buses have flexible routes based on real-time commuter demand, using a fleet of vehicles operating in shared-ride mode according to passengers needs.

The service would “optimise limited resources while offering more seamless and convenient bus journeys for commuters in areas or during timings with low or unpredictable ridership,” the LTA said.

The initial contract for the on-demand service was awarded by the LTA to US-based Via Transportation Inc. and local firm Ministry of Movement Pte Ltd. The latter developed the dynamic routing and matching algorithm that offers seamless bus journeys in areas where there is low or unpredictable ridership during certain times of the day. Both contractors will develop mobile apps for commuters and bus captains as well as back-end tools to monitor the services.

The trial will begin in select areas of the city and then be extended, said Jarrold Ong, co-founder of Ministry of Movement. On-demand can even work in cities that do not have a well developed public transport system, said Ong, who has received interest from Danang in Vietnam.

On-demand public buses already run in parts of New York and Chicago. A service in Helsinki was popular but proved to be too costly for the city. Singapore is different because of its high density, with 5.6 million people packed into an area smaller than the five boroughs of New York. Furthermore, the cost of owning a car in Singapore is among the highest in the world.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Singapore is launching a six-month trial of an on-demand public bus service on December 1, using technology to reduce congestion and costs in what could be a model for gridlocked cities in the region. Commuters can request pickups and drop-offs at any bus stop within a designated area through a mobile app, the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a statement.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Singapore is launching a six-month trial of an on-demand public bus service on December 1, using technology to reduce congestion and costs in what could be a model for gridlocked cities in the region. Commuters can request pickups and drop-offs at any bus stop within a designated area through a mobile app, the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a statement.

The buses have flexible routes based on real-time commuter demand, using a fleet of vehicles operating in shared-ride mode according to passengers needs.

The service would “optimise limited resources while offering more seamless and convenient bus journeys for commuters in areas or during timings with low or unpredictable ridership,” the LTA said.

The initial contract for the on-demand service was awarded by the LTA to US-based Via Transportation Inc. and local firm Ministry of Movement Pte Ltd. The latter developed the dynamic routing and matching algorithm that offers seamless bus journeys in areas where there is low or unpredictable ridership during certain times of the day. Both contractors will develop mobile apps for commuters and bus captains as well as back-end tools to monitor the services.

The trial will begin in select areas of the city and then be extended, said Jarrold Ong, co-founder of Ministry of Movement. On-demand can even work in cities that do not have a well developed public transport system, said Ong, who has received interest from Danang in Vietnam.

On-demand public buses already run in parts of New York and Chicago. A service in Helsinki was popular but proved to be too costly for the city. Singapore is different because of its high density, with 5.6 million people packed into an area smaller than the five boroughs of New York. Furthermore, the cost of owning a car in Singapore is among the highest in the world.

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