By Zia Askari | TelecomDrive.com
As transportation from one place to another – is one of the most critical elements in terms of defining the ease of living in a city, it is getting redefined in Singapore with the help of Crowd Sourcing mobile driven initiative called ‘Beeline’.
Beeline is an experimental demand-driven, shared private transportation concept enabled by data analytics and mobile technology. Supported through the Beeline mobile app, commuters can look forward to more direct, pre-booked private express bus services during peak periods. Beeline bus routes are adaptive; new routes are activated based on demand and purely generated by the users themselves, rather than anything else.
The Beeline mobile app is currently under development. A beta version is expected to be available in July 2015 as part of the experiment.
How Beeline works
Beeline makes use of big transportation data and crowd-sourced travel patterns to identify potential private express bus routes, connecting private bus operators with viable commuter demand in particular areas.
The insights provided by Beeline help private bus operators provide more direct bus services with fewer stops, meaning shorter journey times for the end users. Private bus operators would also be able to offer more responsive bus services, activating new routes and evolving existing routes along with changing demand patterns.
Speaking on the sidelines of CommunicAsia 2015, on this initiative, Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, said that this is a unique initiative by LTA and iDA which also involves collaboration with citizens and private bus companies.
“Beeline invites commuters to suggest new routes on the App. If there is sufficient critical mass of commuters at a particular time, bus service can be mounted. If demand is higher, a larger capacity bus can be provided. This application has been designed in such a way so as to facilitate every commuter a guaranteed seat, and a guaranteed time of departure,” he explained.
Using the Beeline mobile app, commuters are able to book seats on Beeline bus routes once they become available. Booking of seats offers predictability and assurance of a seat on the bus. Commuters can also suggest new routes via the Beeline website (www.beeline.sg), evolving the system for the better.
Experimentation and co-creation
Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority (iDA) and Land Transport Authority (LTA) have worked closely together on the development of Beeline to apply data analytics to transport planning. Beeline is designed as an experiment, a proof-of-concept of how technology and data analytics can help alleviate some of the challenges in the daily schedules of commuters and make transportation a hassle free affair.
The Beeline concept was first shared publicly in April 2015 with the website www.beeline.sg set up to solicit public feedback on the idea. Within a month, more than 1,500 route suggestions and ideas were received.
The interest from the community in this concept has been encouraging; hence IDA and LTA are now taking the next step in the Beeline experiment by developing a beta version of the Beeline mobile app.
Beeline is also an example of public-private co-creation. While IDA and LTA facilitate the provision of data and technology, the bus services will be planned and operated by private bus operators. There has already been interest from a few private bus operators so far, such as Bus-Plus Services Pte Ltd and Aedge Holdings Pte Ltd.