The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) and Land Transport Authority (LTA) have launched Beeline, a mobile app that allows commuters to pre-book rides on express private bus routes.
A brainchild of the two agencies, Beeline is touted to be Singapore's first crowdsourced bus service platform. Its bus routes are generated by analysing historical travel patterns on the public transport network and crowd-sourced route suggestions on its website and mobile app.
Since going live in April 2015, Beeline's website has crowdsourced about 3,400 suggested routes. This has helped bus operators to identify routes with viable commuter demand for faster and more direct bus rides, which results in significant time savings for commuters.
Besides providing more direct journeys for its commuters, Beeline also provides comfort by allowing them to book their seats for a pleasant ride.
The bus services only operate on weekdays, except for public holidays. Keen riders are to book the service via the app at least a day in advance, and they can book either single or multi-day tickets.
The first experimental bus routes had started running on August 3, 2015, with four routes from Marine Parade, Pasir Ris, Punggol and Tampines to the Central Business District (CBD) during the morning peak period. There is another route from the CBD back to Marine Parade during the evening peak period. At least ten more routes are expected in the coming months, according to a joint media statement.
Each Beeline bus will make no more than five stops around each originating area before going directly to the destination, where it would again make a few stops.
LTA and IDA have partnered private bus companies such as Bus-Plus, Aedge Holdings and Commute Solutions Group to operate the initial set of bus routes listed on the Beeline app. Prices are set by these operators, with introductory prices of S$4 to S$6 per trip. For every single booking of five trips, users only need to pay for the price of four.
"Bus-Plus is excited to support Singapore's Smart Nation vision through efforts to continually provide new and innovative transport solutions for commuters. Beeline will provide commuters with another option in journey planning, and we are anticipating positive commuter experience feedback on the first routes introduced," said Benny Lim, Managing Director of SMRT Roads, which will be running three of the Beeline routes. "We look forward to working together with LTA and IDA to progressively roll out more routes."
The Beeline experiment is expected to run until the first quarter of next year, after which IDA and LTA will assess commuter response and if the concept can be applied more widely.
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