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Public invited to build apps for bus service improvements


Calling all developers – the code for Singapore’s first crowdsourced private bus service app is now open to the public.

The city-state’s Senior Minister of State Janil Puthucheary announced that two-year-old app Beeline, run by the Government Technology Agency (GovTech), would be progressively open-sourced to the public.
By releasing the code, members of the public or enterprises can use it to build other crowdsourced transport apps similar to Beeline, or develop completely new apps, such as using Beeline’s bus-tracking feature.
The first set of Beeline code has been released on popular developers’ site GitHub.
“We hope that people will use it, change it, adapt it, innovate using it … to ride on the public sector data that’s already available around transport,” said Janil, who is in charge of GovTech.
“This is the general approach that we’re going to take: ‘How can we involve more people in more public sector work?’. That’s what all this is about.”
The app provides a matching service and booking platform for bus services run by private operators. Users can request a specific route and if enough people ask for it, the route will be taken up by one of the bus service providers.
Since 2015, it has been downloaded 56,000 times. A total of 54,000 route suggestions have been made so far, leading to 80 crowdsourced routes being launched. Eight of them are currently running.
Chief executive of GovTech, Jacqueline Poh, said: “Smart urban mobility is a key component of Singapore’s Smart Nation vision. By open-sourcing Beeline, we hope to catalyse innovative solutions, be it by commercial operators or individual developers.”
Janil was the guest of honour at the finals of the first National Data Visualisation Video Challenge organised by GovTech. Over 200 students took part.
The challenge aimed to encourage the use of open government data to improve daily decision-making or enhance the quality of lives for loved ones.
 

Published : October 02, 2017

By : The Straits Times Asia News Network