LTA awards contracts for first phase of on-demand bus trial

LTA awards contracts for first phase of on-demand bus trial

Public transport bus
File picture of people queuing to board a bus in Singapore. (Photo: Joey Liew)

SINGAPORE: Two companies have been awarded contracts worth more than S$466,000 to conduct the first phase of trials for on-demand bus services, announced the Transport Authority (LTA) on Tuesday (Feb 13). 

The companies are Via Transportation, which operates such services in major cities such as New York and Chicago, and Singapore startup Ministry of Movement (SWAT).

LTA called the tender last August to develop bus services based on commuters' demand via a mobile application in real time. This means commuters could request pick-ups and drop-offs at any bus stop within an operating area, instead of relying on fixed timetables or routes. 

"Such customised bus services allow for more direct journeys for commuters, while optimising resources," said LTA in a media release.

It received a total of 10 proposals from both local and overseas companies. The two chosen companies submitted bids that were "high-quality and good value-for-money," said LTA.

In the first phase of the trial, Via and SWAT will develop a dynamic matching and routing algorithm which will enable buses to be deployed according to real-time commuter demand, as well as pick-up and drop-off points.

Simulations will also be conducted to demonstrate and refine the service standard and resource requirements to enable LTA to determine the parameters for the operational trial. 

The operational trial is expected to be carried out from the fourth quarter of this year, said LTA, adding that contracts for this second phase will be awarded in the third quarter.

Source: CNA/ng