SINGAPORE: The Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Tuesday (Aug 15) said it has called a tender to develop bus services based on commuters' demand via a mobile application in real time, and trials will start in the second half of next year.
The agency said in a press release that this service would allow commuters to request pick-ups and drop-offs at any bus stop within an operating area, instead of relying on fixed timetables or routes. They would thus have customised bus services with possibly shorter waiting time.
The three areas identified as possible for the trial are Joo Koon (for services 253, 255 and 257), Punggol North/West (for services 84 and 382) and Shenton Way/ Marina South (for services 400 and 402). These services were identified due to their low demand during off-peak hours, and on-demand bus services could potentially better serve commuters, LTA explained.
Instead of being able to alight only at a bus stop along a fixed route, commuters would be able to ask to alight at any stop in the operating area, it added
Group director of Public Transport at LTA, Mr Yeo Teck Guan, said the tender will allow the authority to explore data analytics and mobile technology which have "revolutionised the way that we travel, as we have seen in the success of ride-hailing".
The tender will have two phases: The first will be awarded by the fourth quarter of 2017 and the successful tenderer will conduct modelling and simulation to test service quality and resource requirements. The second phase, to be awarded in the second quarter of 2018, will have public bus operators test and calibrate software and hardware solutions provided by the successful tenderer.
They will then trial the on-demand services in the second half of 2018, it added.
Before the actual trial, LTA will work with bus operators and communities to ensure residents and commuters understand how to use the services. It will also continue to run the usual scheduled bus services, but at reduced frequency, to cater to those who are not able to adapt to the new service, it said.
Tender participants are also invited to submit proposals for on-demand, dynamically routed night bus services, to replace existing night bus services that have fixed timetables and routes, the agency added.