New app concept crowd-sources demand, lets users create own bus routes

SINGAPORE - Commuters who want to make a beeline straight to their destinations, with fewer or no stops en route, might one day be able to do so on a new crowd-sourcing transport app.

The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore and the Land Transport Authority are testing the feasibility of creating personalised bus routes based on commuter demand.

The experimental concept, named Beeline, works as an app where commuters indicate where they want to be picked up and their destination.

The IDA has set up a website - www.beeline.sg - to gather feedback on the idea, and to obtain data on which routes are most in demand.

If enough people pick or create a similar route, a private bus service can then be activated to ferry them.

For example, someone living in Hougang might travel to Raffles Place to work. Using the app, he can create a route from home to office.

Others on the app who see the route and are heading to the same destination can back the need for a private bus to ply this route.

If enough people do so, they all get to enjoy a direct ride to Raffles Place.

The IDA said in a release on Saturday: "Routes are envisioned to be adaptive, with revisions to existing routes and new routes introduced, in response to evolving commuter needs.

"Possible features include pre-booking of seats; functions which allow the public to suggest new routes and potentially 'activate' new bus trips and to adapt existing routes; and notification function on arrival time."

lesterh@sph.com.sg