New app helps cyclists plan routes on cycling paths and park connectors

The Ridenjoy app taps the Singapore Land Authority's OneMap application programming interface. PHOTOS: RIDENJOY

SINGAPORE - Bike rides just got easier, with cyclists now able to use an app that helps them plan journeys using just cycling paths and park connectors.

The Ridenjoy app, which was launched this month, taps the Singapore Land Authority's (SLA) OneMap application programming interface. OneMap is touted as the authoritative national map of Singapore, with details regularly updated by the SLA.

Ridenjoy's founder Kelvin Phang, 50, told The Straits Times that the app typically suggests routes which are longer than those proposed in Google Maps.

There are also occasions when Ridenjoy is able to suggest routes which are shorter but take longer to cover owing to the speed limits on cycling paths.

He cited the example of a trip from Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 to the Singapore Sports Hub.

The route suggested by Ridenjoy will allow cyclists to use just park connectors and cycling paths. The path proposed by Google Maps would let cyclists reach the destination in a shorter time, but will take them through either busy MacPherson Road or Aljunied Road, said Mr Phang.

"If you want to commute, you should use Google Maps," he noted.

"But a lot of people, especially with kids, still don't want to cycle on roads."

He noted that Ridenjoy further differentiates itself by showing other useful information, such as bike parking, bike repair kiosks and water coolers.

It has a function to let users inform other cyclists of observations, such as accidents or wildlife along a route, plus an SOS function to trigger an alert in case of emergency.

Mr Phang said he came up with the idea to develop the app last December, when he was trying to figure out how to cycle from his home in Ang Mo Kio to his office near Funan without using traffic-heavy roads.

Mr Phang, who is also founder of integrated marketing consultancy Empower Marketing, successfully applied for a grant from the SportSG's Blended initiative to pursue the project.

He has himself invested a five-figure sum to fund operations for Ridenjoy. A co-founder, Mr Adrian Tan, is the founder of a digital marketing agency.

Ridenjoy will seek to encourage people to cycle more through the use of rewards, Mr Phang added.

There are landmarks marked out within routes on the map which will let users enjoy freebies, discounts and deals provided by Ridenjoy's partners. The number of partners is expected to grow in time, with the Ridenjoy team looking to set up a digital marketplace where users can redeem points in the future.

"There are apps that are active as performance trackers for cyclists... but essentially, our idea is to reward people for cycling," said Mr Phang.

The Ridenjoy app is available on both the Google Play store and Apple's App Store.

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