Above image: Beeline app screenshots
The Government Technology Agency of Singaopore (GovTech) has announced that it will progressively open-source the code for the Beeline smart mobility platform from October 2017 (Key components of the code base that may compromise the security of the Beeline platform will not be open-sourced.).
Industry and individual developers will be able to adopt, build on and scale up the platform or develop new mobility solutions using the code. This is in line with Singapore’s Smart Nation vision of catalysing innovation and co-creation.
Piloted in 2015, Beeline is an open, cloud-based smart mobility platform to provide data-driven shuttle bus services for commuters, jointly developed by GovTech and the Land Transport Authority (LTA),
Through Beeline, commuters can “crowdstart” and activate more direct, private express bus routes that cater to their travel needs, especially during peak periods. They can use the Beeline app to book seats on available private express bus routes in advance. Beeline bus routes are adaptive. If there is sufficient commuter demand for a certain route, the route will automatically be activated.
Beeline enables private bus operators to provide shuttle bus services based on commuters’ demand and economic viability, and use data analytics tools for fleet management and operations.
Designed on an open architecture, Beeline enables private transport operators and tech start-ups to easily build and integrate additional applications/functions, providing more convenient transport options for commuters.
In March 2017, the ride-hailing platform Grab integrated with Beeline’s platform to launch GrabShuttle.
By August 2017, there had been 56,000 app downloads and there are 130 routes deployed by 7 private bus operators (BusPlus, Aedge Holdings, GTS Express, Grab, Woodlands Transport, ShareTransport, Wildlife Reserve Singapore). 54,000 route suggestions have been received and there are 19,000 active monthly bookings. Eight routes have been activated through crowd-start feature.
Jacqueline Poh, Chief Executive, GovTech, said, "Getting people from one place to another in an efficient and pleasant manner is a challenge that all cities are facing. Smart urban mobility is a key component of Singapore's Smart Nation vision. Transport APIs (application programming interfaces) have been made available through the open data portal, Data.gov.sg, and we have seen applications created out of such APIs. By open-sourcing Beeline, we hope to catalyse innovative solutions, be it by commercial operators or individual developers. We are inviting developers to improve our open-sourced code and push out new features to the benefit of citizens at a faster pace."
Chua U-Zyn, Founder, Zynesis, said, “Open-sourcing encourages open innovation and collaboration between the public and Government – a true quality of a Smart Nation, where anyone and everyone is able to contribute to the public good. I applaud GovTech’s move to open-source Beeline, and hope this would encourage more software companies and individuals in Singapore to actively participate and open-source their work."
Developers can get in touch with the Beeline development team by opening a GitHub issue on the repositories.