Two of the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) IT projects have received the highest accolade in the government sector at the inaugural e-Government Excellence Awards (GEA) on Tuesday (30 April 2013), with its MyTransport.SG Mobile App emerging as the Distinguished Winner in the m-Services category, and its data sharing initiative DataMall@MyTransport.SG also taking home a Distinguished Winner award in the Data Sharing category for its contributions to the developer community.
2. Jointly organised by the Ministry of Finance and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, the awards recognise exceptional government initiatives that use information technology in an innovative way to enhance government operations, provide a more open and transparent government, and deliver impactful citizen services.
3. The competition saw more than 45 government agencies sending in over 90 submissions to vie for six distinguished winner awards and 12 merit awards in six categories: Websites, e-services, m-Services, Data Sharing, People Engagement and Shared System & Services. LTA snagged two of the six distinguished winner awards.
4. One of LTA’s distinguished winning projects, DataMall@MyTransport.SG was conceived through a cloud computing programme in November 2011 with the aim of sharing LTA’s rich repository of land transport data such as public transport, traffic and geospatial data. The initiative helps meet the growing demand for LTA data over the years from commercial companies as well as academia.
5. Since its inception, DataMall@MyTransport.SG has garnered strong interest from business partners, research institutions and 3rd party developers, generating more than 8 million monthly hits from 35 new, innovative transport-related applications created on mobile devices such as iPhones and Android phones.
6. Commenting on LTA’s data sharing efforts, Rosina Howe-Teo, Group Director, Innovation & InfoComm Technology Group, LTA, said, “ Besides sharing our data, LTA plays an active role in promoting the use of its data for research or third-party development. Over the last three years, we have worked with at least 300 companies and individuals in coming up with new transport-related services and have since, seen a few become very successful effort. Through our data-sharing programme, we can tap on the creativity and nimbleness of the community to co-develop solutions to Singapore’s diverse transport challenges - faster and better. Singaporeans are tech-savvy, not just in adapting new technology, but also in developing and creating useful solutions. This has benefitted the commuting public with a myriad of useful transport-related products and services.”
7. The other project that bagged a distinguished winner award, MyTransport.SG, a smartphone application, is no stranger to awards, recently becoming the first in Asia Pacific to win at the international Summit Emerging Media Award (EMA) 2012 and striking Gold at the inaugural Mob-Ex Awards 2013 in the “Best App/Content by Government/Community” category.
8. Hitting 3 million page-views a month, MyTransport.SG is content-rich, offering a wide range of information for all modes of land transportation - empowering commuters, motorists and cyclists in Singapore to make informed decisions and better plan their journey with information on the nearest bus-stops and taxi stands, nearest cycling paths, parking lot location and availability, traffic cameras, real-time road conditions, or even the latest events and promotions. This information is clearly plotted out for users within a built-in map, putting information along the island’s transport network at their fingertips.
9. As an added channel for public feedback, the “Snap-&-Send” function in the App enables the public to make use of smartphone features to snap pictures of road infrastructure defects such as potholes on the roads, faulty traffic lights, obstructed signage, damaged railings and bridges etc and send these pictorial feedbacks to LTA from their mobile devices. By becoming LTA’s additional “eyes and ears” on the ground, 2,900 cases have been received over the year, and this pictorial feedback is routed to LTA’s officers from various departments thus allowing them to rectify these defects quickly.
10. The latest version of the App, which will be ready in the coming quarter, will have islandwide bus arrival information to help commuters plan their bus journeys better. Plans are also underway to provide maps with covered walkways to enhance the “first mile, last mile” experience of a typical journey. This would help users travelling from home to bus stops, bus interchanges or MRT stations, navigate the best way to travel in sheltered comfort.
About the eGov Excellence Awards
11. First introduced in 2009, as the Web Excellence Awards (WEA), the Awards was organised to recognise good government websites and encourage the continual adoption of web standards and best practices. With the rapid advancement of infocomm technologies and increasing adoption rates of mobile devices, WEA expanded and evolved into the eGov Excellence Awards (GEA). The categories in the GEA looked into useful and accessible websites, user-friendly e-Services, feature-rich m-Services, outstanding Data Sharing efforts, innovative ways for People Engagement, and Shared System & Services that help to achieve greater efficiencies and cost-savings. More on the Awards can be found at http://www.eGEA2013.sg.