Launch of Public Transport @ SG and SMS 77722 October 21, 2008Posted by hafizbam in Something New, Transport Events.
Tags: bus arrival, Premium Bus, public transport @ sg, SBS Transit, SMRT, sms
The latest initiatives to improve the overall travel experience for public transport commuters were unveiled this week in the form of a long awaited integrated website for both bus and train services, as well as a real-time SMS bus arrival information. Both are managed by the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
Public Transport @ SG
The new website, aptly called Public Transport @ SG, brings basically everything under one roof in a format that is relatively easy to use. While there have been similar attempts made by TransitLink, this dedicated website is much more comprehensive. Not only are information on the bus services run by SBS Transit and SMRT Buses brought together, there is also a section dedicated to the premium bus services, including those run by private firms.
The LTA has collaborated with another government agency, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), to include accompanying map services. I particularly love the feature of highlighting the bus stops served by premium bus services as these services often start from just about anywhere and goes just about anywhere before hitting the expressways to town. It is especially helpful for private landed residential estates like Seletar and Sunset Way which until now, are not served by any bus services, basic or premium.
The downside though, is that unlike what the current SBST and SMRTB bus guides are offering, PublicTransport@SG does not have a journey planner feature. In short, you can forget about getting information on how to get from Point A to Point B. What the website offers at most is a visual map indicating your destination and what bus services and train stations are available nearby. For the in-betweens, you still have to figure it out on your own.
In addition, information on the Scheme B bus services have also been conveniently left out, most probably due to its declining patronage and significance over the years. But then again, if something is not getting enough exposure, not many people would know and hence, the scheme would not be a success. These are some areas the LTA can look into and hopefully implement in future.
Real-Time SMS Bus Arrival Information
Building on what SBS Transit is already providing for quite some time now, the LTA also rolled out its own version of iRis NextBus, only this time the number to note is 77722. Besides informing the user how much longer the next bus for a particular service at a particular bus stop would be arriving, this LTA initiative also allows users to find out similar information for ALL bus services calling at that particular bus stop itself. This is a boon for those who can take more than one service at the bus stop to get to the same destination.
And yes, SMRT bus services are included as well in this system, which is currently on trial in the “western academic belt”. Definitely a plus for commuters.
More information about this can be found here.
I definitely can’t wait to see what other initiatives will be rolled out in these coming months as the LTA begins to assume the role of master planner for the local public transport system.