Zip around with new all-in-one transit app

(From left) Senior Minister of State Chee Hong Tat and Mr Colin Lim, chief executive of mobilityX, speaking with Mr Joseph Ting, co-founder of car-sharing service Smove, at the official launch of Zipster at The Star Performing Arts Centre yesterday.
(From left) Senior Minister of State Chee Hong Tat and Mr Colin Lim, chief executive of mobilityX, speaking with Mr Joseph Ting, co-founder of car-sharing service Smove, at the official launch of Zipster at The Star Performing Arts Centre yesterday. Subscription plans for the app could cost between $50 and $100, with monthly savings ranging from 5 per cent to 20 per cent, Mr Lim said.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

Up to 20% savings when Zipster launches subscription plans for public transport and ride-hailing

Savings of up to 20 per cent a month are in the offing for commuters when an app, with major transport players behind it, introduces subscription plans in six months' time.

The Zipster app will probably have three to five plans with varying amounts of savings for trips on both public transport and private-hire cars, and even shared electric cars, said its developer, mobilityX, yesterday.

The start-up is backed by transport operator SMRT and Toyota Tsusho, the general trading arm of carmaker Toyota.

Billed as a first of its kind in Asia, Zipster brings on one platform all public transport operators in Singapore, as well as major companies such as Grab, Gojek and BlueSG, an electric car-sharing operator.

Other partners include bike-sharing firm Anywheel and bus-pooling service provider ShareTransport.

Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Education Chee Hong Tat, who officially launched the app yesterday, said that besides savings, it would give commuters greater convenience.

Mr Colin Lim, mobilityX's chief executive, later explained that the platform will let commuters compare multiple travelling options and book private transport services on one platform.

Mr Chee noted that apps like Zipster are poised to be the next disruptors in the land transport sector, reiterating a point made last month by Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary.

 
 
 

"By integrating mobility services such as public transport, taxis, and car and bicycle sharing, MaaS offers commuters a more streamlined and personalised experience," said Mr Chee, referring to Mobility as a Service or MaaS.

"There are also benefits to society as a whole, as such services can further improve the overall efficiency of our transport system."

The trial version of the app has been available for download since April. It has been downloaded by 16,000 users and used about 150,000 times.

It offers a route planning function similar to that of Google Maps, and suggests options and timings for completing a trip.

It also shows the prices of, say, taking a trip by bus, mass rapid transit or private-hire cars.

For trips on Grab or Gojek, Zipster will direct the commuter to the respective app.

Commuters can also buy discount vouchers through Zipster's consolidated marketplace.

When the enhanced app is launched in six months' time, mobilityX's Mr Lim said commuters can expect three to five subscription plans initially.

The plans could cost between $50 and $100, with savings ranging from 5 per cent to 20 per cent.

He also said mobilityX is working with Mastercard and local firm MatchMove to develop a pilot payment card for its subscription plans.

Mr Lim has plans to expand Zipster in the Asia-Pacific, and said a growing demand for alternatives to a car would boost business.

"We are still in the early stages of the revolution. I think in the next five to 10 years, how people consume transport will change dramatically," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 17, 2019, with the headline 'Zip around with new all-in-one transit app'. Print Edition | Subscribe