Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Beeline: Few takers so far for crowd-sourcing transport service

The Government-initiated trial has been expanded to 21 routes and 11 buses and users say it has saved them time and money, but each bus currently averages just two to three passengers per commute. 
By Olivia Siong, Channel NewsAsia, 19 Oct 2015

It has been over a month since crowd sourcing transport app Beeline was launched.

It allows people to pre-book express private bus rides, choosing from routes determined by crowd sourced suggestions. The Government-initiated trial started with just four routes and four buses in August, but has since been scaled up to 21 routes and 11 buses.

With an e-ticket, commuters using the Beeline app can track when the private bus they're booked on is arriving. Fewer than five stops are made in the vicinity to pick up passengers, before the bus makes a beeline to their destination, typically in the Central Business District.

Each ride costs between S$4 and S$6 with a discount for every five days booked. It is currently available in the mornings and evenings.

Introducing the updated Beeline app! Pick your stop, pay and display your ticket all from within the app. Also, our new route suggestion feature allows you to submit and track your suggestion on the move! Download the Beeline app now and make a booking today!For iOS Devices: Android Devices:
Posted by Beeline SG on Sunday, October 18, 2015

Rajiv Rai, a lawyer, said the service has made the morning commute less of a hassle. He previously had to take a bus and a train to get from his home in Pasir Ris to his office at Cross Street.

"The journey time is essentially halved for me,” said the 28-year-old. “So what would typically take me 1 hour 20 minutes now takes me about 30 to 40 minutes to get to the office. And also the fact that I get a seat all the way to office.

“I can get my coffee and tea and get to office on time, and while I’m on the bus I am able to catch up on news, reply my e-mails and stuff. It's clearly a bit more expensive. I think it's about more than double your current journey cost. But if you had to weigh against the comfort that you get and the time savings, I think it's clearly worth it."

Meanwhile, 27-year-old senior recruiter Mae Yap said the money saved using Beeline has been the biggest draw for her.

"I used to take a taxi to work every day,” she said. “That would cost me S$30, S$32. With Beeline, now it costs me about S$4.50 per ride. So that’s significant cost savings."


The initiative is part of an experiment by the the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to explore how transport networks can be made more adaptable to commuter demands.

With Beeline, commuters put in their requested route online or via the mobile app. If there is enough demand - a bus route could be started. Such data has also provided valuable information for bus operators.

"Bus operators have been pretty positive,” said IDA’s Data Science Division director Liu Feng-Yuan. “I think in the past, they've had to kind of get this information in an ad-hoc way. So now they have an extra source of data to plan what routes make sense and what routes don't.

“The economics need to make sense for them. And so the economics make sense for them when more people take the same route, I think the more people there are on the route, the more economically viable it is in the long run."

Initially, Beeline was only available from Marine Parade, Pasir Ris, Punggol and Tampines. It now spans places such as Bukit Panjang, Balestier, one-north and the Mapletree Business City - areas beyond the typical Central Business District.

So far, more than 10,000 suggestions have been received from commuters on their preferred routes. The app has also been downloaded about 5,500 times.

However authorities say awareness of the service is still low. Each bus currently averages just two to three passengers per commute. In a bid to entice more onboard, they are planning a S$2 per trip promotion in November.

The Beeline trial will end in the first quarter of next year. That is when IDA and LTA will assess commuter response and if the concept can be applied on a larger scale.

Commuters can learn more at

What is a Smart Nation? One example: a crowd-sourced, on-demand bus service, developed by IDA Singapore and LTA. Check...
Posted by Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday, October 3, 2015

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