Code for private bus service app Beeline to be released to the public for developers to build on

Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Dr. Janil Puthucheary with the top winners and supporting partners of the National Data Viz Video Challenge.
Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Dr. Janil Puthucheary with the top winners and supporting partners of the National Data Viz Video Challenge.PHOTO: GOVTECH SINGAPORE
Guest-of-Honour Dr. Janil Puthucheary with the overall champions at the National Data Viz Video Challenge, who explored the use of solar power in Singapore.
Guest-of-Honour Dr. Janil Puthucheary with the overall champions at the National Data Viz Video Challenge, who explored the use of solar power in Singapore. PHOTO: GOVTECH SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - Calling all code developers, the code for Singapore's first crowd-sourced private bus service app will be open to the public from Oct 1.

On Saturday (Sept 30), Senior Minister of State Janil Puthucheary announced that two-year-old app Beeline, run by the Government Technology Agency (GovTech), will be progressively open-sourced to the public. Dr Janil, who is in charge of GovTech, was speaking at the finals of the first National Data Visualisation Video Challenge organised by the agency.

By releasing the code, members of the public or enterprises can use it to build other crowd-sourced transport apps similar to Beeline, or develop completely new apps, such as using Beeline's bus-tracking feature.

The first set of Beeline code will be released on Oct 1 on popular developers' site GitHub.

"We hope that people will use it, change it, adapt it, innovate using it... to ride on the public sector data that's already available around transport," Dr Janil said.

"This is the general approach that we're going to take: 'How can we involve more people in more public sector work?', that's what all this is about."

The app provides a matching service and booking platform for bus services run by private operators. Users can request for a specific route and if enough people ask for it, the route will be taken up by one of the bus service providers.

Since 2015, it has been downloaded 56,000 times. There are currently 130 routes run by seven private bus operators, including Grab, BusPlus, and Woodlands Transport, with 19,000 active monthly bookings.

A total of 54,000 route suggestions have been made so far, leading to 80 crowd-sourced routes being launched. Eight of them are currently running.

 

Chief executive of GovTech Jacqueline Poh said: "Smart urban mobility is a key component of Singapore's Smart Nation vision.

"By open-sourcing Beeline, we hope to catalyse innovative solutions, be it by commercial operators or individual developers."

Dr Janil was the guest-of-honour at the finals of the first National Data Visualisation Video Challenge organised by GovTech at the Amazon Web Services office at Raffles Place.

More than 200 students from the Institute of Technical Education, junior colleges, polytechnics and universities participated in the data visualisation challenge, integrating storytelling, data analysis and video production in their 82 project submissions.

In line with Singapore's Smart Nation vision, the challenge aimed to encourage the use of open government data to improve daily decision-making or enhance the quality of lives for loved ones.

The event was supported by six industry partners: Amazon Web Services, Carousell, Cloudera, Microsoft, Google and The Straits Times.

Dr Janil, who is Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information, and Education, gave out prizes to the winners of the challenge.

A team of four students from Nanyang Polytechnic won the top prize for their project to work out the area of solar panels required to meet Singapore's peak demand for power usage..

Year three Multimedia and Infocomm Technology student Kat Yong Jie, 19, said: "We want to show the public that it is possible to feed Singapore's energy needs 100 per cent through solar power."

Pulling together information from Government websites like data.gov.sg and the Energy Market Authority, they found out that about five per cent of Singapore's land area, or about 36 sq km, would be needed to meet this demand.

To find out more about other winning works and finalists, click here