App that allows commuters to book different types of transport in the works

The app uses real-time information and predictions of traffic conditions to plan different routes based on time and cost.
The app uses real-time information and predictions of traffic conditions to plan different routes based on time and cost.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM GOOGLE PLAY

SINGAPORE – Picture the scenario: You punch into your phone where you are, define your destination and the app shows you different ways you can get there.

Not only that.

The app presents the route choices based on different combinations of transport options – from public transport, shared bicycles, e-scooters, private ride-hailing services and even autonomous vehicles.

After picking a route, that shared-bike or e-scooter is reserved and waiting for you for a “seamless door-to-door transport experience”, said mobilityX, a start-up which has developed such an app.

The start-up is seed-funded by SMRT and supported by the Economic Development Board.

The app, called jalan jalan, is now being tested at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) campus and the nearby JTC Corporation’s CleanTech Park following a partnership last August between the two organisations and mobilityX.

The start-up hopes to roll out the app islandwide in phases at the end of the year and have it completed in one to two years, said its chief executive (CEO) Colin Lim.

“The transportation sector is being disrupted today. We want to be at the forefront of providing innovative solutions to enhance the commuter experience,” he added.

While there are other similar apps that help commuters plan routes, this is the first to integrate route planning, booking and payment, said Mr Lim.

For a start, users will be able to tap jalan jalan to plan and pay for public transport commutes. But mobilityX is also working with other players in the industry such as bicycle sharing firms oBike and Mobike, as well as e-scooter sharing company Telepod, to allow people to also book and pay for their commutes through the app.

Mr Desmond Kuek, SMRT president and group CEO, said: “We see it as our responsibility to improve the overall transport ecosystem by providing more door-to-door travel options to better serve the needs of commuters.”

Over at the NTU campus and JTC park, users are given several route options that tap on different combinations including shuttle buses at NTU, and shared bicycles and e-scooters provided by several firms at the two locations.


 


The user is given the time, distance and cost of each option, and after an option is picked, the app will ensure a bicycle or e-scooter on the selected route is reserved and waiting for the user.

He can later unlock it by scanning its QR code. Payment is made using the e-wallet in jalan jalan. NTU undergraduate Hoong Shi Xiang, 26, who uses the jalan jalan app to get around campus, said it has made travel more convenient.

“During peak hours it can take 30 minutes to get to class using the campus bus, but the app will show that I can use an e-scooter which only takes 10 minutes,” he said. But there is room for improvements, he added.

“The app is sometimes unresponsive and there also have been times when the e-scooter that the app has booked for me is not at the pod.”