Singapore introduces new shuttle service to supplement public transport

Screenshot of the GrabShuttle mobile app (Photo from GovTech)

The Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) and Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing platform Grab recently introduced a beta shuttle bus service mobile application that would supplement public transport services and offer more affordable shuttle service for commuters. 

With the service, Singapore commuters can now use the GrabShuttle app to pre-book seats on 15 selected routes, with more routes to be added in the following months. 

The GrabShuttle app is powered by Beeline, an open smart mobility platform to enable data-driven shuttle bus services developed by GovTech in collaboration with the Land Transport Authority.

Designed on an open API architecture, private transport providers and tech start-ups can easily integrate their services with Beeline’s open mobility marketplace to offer more convenient transportation options for commuters. 

“We see GrabShuttle as a public transport connector that links residential estates to MRT stations, business centers and underserved locations like army camps, schools, industrial estates,” said Lim Kell Jay, Head of Grab Singapore. “This is Grab’s third new transport service launched in the last three months, and is part of Grab’s car-lite agenda to supplement Singapore’s public transport network with affordable and adaptable shared transportation services.”

Aside from enabling commuters to book and pay for seats using their credit cards, and track their buses in real-time on the day of the ride, commuters can also suggest and crowd start new routes in the GrabShuttle app or via Grab’s website. Suggestions from the public along with data from the beta trial and Beeline will allow Grab and its partnering bus operator to model, price and launch new bus routes based on changing commuter demand.

“Beeline is built around the idea of empowering citizens to play a part in improving their commuting experience while equipping private bus operators with data analytics tools for more efficient fleet management and operations,” said Liu Feng Yuan, director of the Data Science Division under GovTech’s Government Digital Services. 

GrabShuttle encourages individual commuters to consider shared transportation services for their daily commute instead of relying on personal cars, helping to reduce traffic congestion and overall vehicle carbon emissions.  

Its routes are direct and the buses only stop at a few pre-selected pickup points before the final destination. This is ideal for commuters who want a more direct and convenient transport service while paying a fraction of the fare of taxis and private cars. 

Neighbors who work in the same district can likewise suggest routes starting in their same neighborhood and ending in the business district. When 15 or more people pre-order similar routes, GrabShuttle will start the service. 

Routes are modeled based on historical, real-time and crowd-sourced transport data, and are adaptive to changing commuter needs.