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All-in-one transit apps are the next big thing in Singapore’s land transport scene

The land transport scene in Singapore is expecting a wave of technology disruption. All-in-one transit apps, also known as, Mobility as a Service (MaaS) apps, are the next form of technology to be widely used.

This was said by Senior Minister of State for Transport Dr Janil Puthucheary at the 16th International Conference Series on Competition and Ownership in Land Passenger Transport, otherwise known as the Thredbo Conference, held at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) on August 27, 2019.

He said that MaaS apps will act as a one-stop service for providing aid to commuters for planning their journeys ahead and for offering various transport modes.

He added that some of the apps allow users to pay a fixed monthly fee via the app and in return receive an unlimited number of rides on public transit. This follows the payment models akin to Netflix where payments are made monthly.

Dr Janil said that the authorities will not be heavily regulating these apps to provide the space and opportunity to drive innovations and to encourage competition.

Since this is a new development within the land transport industry, he said that there should be cultivation of creativity and innovation for it.

Dr Janil shared that authorities provide transit data to MaaS providers to help them in the enhancement of their services and apps.

He cited Grab as an example which has employed MaaS to provide its users with a public transit journey planner and with e-scooter rentals via its app.

He shared that this area of MaaS will be covered during the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress in Singapore in October, co-organised by the Land Transport Authority.

Dr Janil suggested that MaaS can focus on point-to-point transport options, such as taxis and private-hire car services since there is an existing detailed layout of Singapore’s public transport network.

Singapore is focusing on incorporating technology and innovation within its transportation industry, to make it smarter and more productive.

In an earlier OpenGov article, we reported on the launch of an Industry Transformation Map (ITM) in July last year.

The Land Transport ITM was developed by the LTA in close consultation with union and industry partners, with the overarching vision for a people-centred land transport system by 2030 with more connections and better service for all.

The Land Transport ITM serves as the blueprint for growing and transforming the land transport industry into one that is enabled by technology and a highly competent workforce.

Other than helping the land transport industry and its workers continue to stay relevant, it also responds to disruptive technologies.

Some of these disruptive technologies include autonomous vehicles (AVs), big data, and artificial intelligence (AI). Harnessing their transformative potentials will give the industry new opportunities to enhance the land transport system and create better jobs for the industry.


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