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. LTA and IDA have partnered private bus companies such as Bus-Plus to operate the initial set of buses routes listed on the app.
2. Beeline is an experiment developed by IDA and LTA to explore how transport networks can be made more adaptive to changing commuter demand. The experimental private bus routes are computer-generated by analysing historical travel patterns and crowd-sourced suggestions on the Beeline website. Since going live in April 2015, Beeline’s website has crowdsourced about 3,400 suggested routes. This helps bus operators identify routes with viable commuter demand for faster and more direct bus rides, and offer bus services along these routes. The Beeline app completes the cycle by allowing commuters to book seats on these services. In addition to providing more direct journeys for its commuters, Beeline experiments with the possibility that bus routes and timings can be adapted in response to commuter feedback and demand over time.
3. The first experimental bus routes had started running on 3 August, with four routes from Marine Parade, Pasir Ris, Punggol and Tampines to the Central Business District (CBD) during the morning peak period. There is also one route from the CBD back to Marine Parade during the evening peak period. At least ten more routes are expected in the coming months.
4. Beeline users will be able to book single or multi-day tickets, ensuring a guaranteed seat and a comfortable ride to work on working days. With no more than five pick-up stops for each route, the journey would be more direct and faster than taking public transport. Prices are set by the bus operators, with introductory prices of $4 to $6 per trip, and discounts for every five days booked.
5. Bus-Plus is one of the key partners listing bus routes on the Beeline app and operating buses as part of the experiment. “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. We look forward to working together with LTA and IDA to progressively roll out more routes.” said Benny Lim, Managing Director of SMRT Roads, which will be running three of the Beeline routes.
6. Other operators who are listing buses on Beeline include Aedge Holdings and Commute Solutions Group (sharetransport.sg). IDA and LTA welcome participation from other private bus operators interested in listing routes on the Beeline app.
7. 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. The Beeline app is available for free on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store under the title “Beeline SG”. Commuters can learn more at www.beeline.sg.
Annex 1: Beeline Routes
Annex 2: Using the Beeline App