On demand bus-hailing trial to start in the second half of next year

If you tend to travel around the areas of Joo Koon, Punggol North/West and Shenton Way/Marina South during non-peak hours, you might be able to hail a public bus via a mobile app starting from the second half of next year. 

Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced in a Facebook post on August 15 that it has called a tender to seek proposals from industry to trial public bus services that operate based on real-time commuter demands and along dynamic routes.

The aim of this initiative is to explore whether technology can improve commutes in selected areas, at the same time optimising costs and making use of resources more efficiently. 

Potential areas identified for the trial are: Joo Koon (for bus services 253, 255 and 257), Punggol North/West (for services 84 and 382) and Shenton Way/Marina South (for services 400 and 402). These areas and routes have low demand during off-peak hours, and LTA commented that commuters in these areas may be better served with on-demand public bus services.

Commuters will be able to customise their journey through the mobile app, by requesting pick-ups and drop-offs at any bus stop within a designated area. This would mean that commuters might be able to avoid the hassle of making a transfer to another bus service to get to their destination. 

Before commuters confirm a booking on the app, they will be given the estimated arrival time of the bus at their selected boarding point, according to a report by Todayonline. 

However, the usual scheduled bus services will continue to run, for the commuters who would prefer not to use the bus-hailing service.