- Land Transport Authority
- Project Land Transport Real-time Info@SG (POLARis)
Over 2.2 million commuters take public transport daily in Singapore, generating 6.8 million trips of which 3.8 million trips are made on public buses. In the Public Transport Customer Satisfaction Survey 2012, commuters expressed that bus services can be further improved in terms of waiting time, comfort and connectivity. In response, LTA studied bus trends using fare card analytics. To better match supply and demand for bus services, in 2013 LTA conceptualized Project Land Transport Real-time Info@SG (POLARis) that leverages on the use of cost-efficient, commoditized sensors installed on every public bus to track, monitor and predict arrival times, compute crowding level on every bus in real-time and alert bus operators to inject additional buses on busy routes. At the same time, navigational maps and traffic incidents reported along the routes of every individual bus service are displayed on a dual-language console to aid bus drivers in completing the journey.
Tracking of buses in real-time requires accurate sensors capable of transmitting location data at per-seconds intervals. Traditional solutions depend on expensive, dedicated radio networks. LTA adopted an innovative approach by leveraging on public telecommunication networks, using ruggedized SIM cards. The end-result was delivered at a fraction of the cost of traditional systems with bus arrival predictions accuracy of 95% better than most advanced cities within six months of operations.
Today, POLARis is a key pillar of Smart Mobility significantly improving the overall commuting experience of Singapore citizens particularly with wait time and bus reliability.
Today POLARis forms the technology backbone for enhancing commuter’s experience on bus journeys, transforming the bus industry workforce including 9,200 bus captains with smart solutions, and enabling LTA to monitor service standards and access to real-time situational awareness.
Real-time bus arrival data from POLARis is also shared free-of-charge for third-party development and research to innovate and co-create transit solutions with the Government. These data are highly sought after and accessed at least 13 million times a month.
POLARis also played an instrumental role in improving commuter overall experience, especially with wait time and bus reliability. Public Transport Customer Satisfaction Survey results has shown improved customer satisfaction with public bus services for three consecutive years: 88.3% (2013), 90.2% (2014) and 90.7% (2015) with the popularity of bus as a public transport mode growing by 100,000 trips year-on-year.
About Land Transport Authority
The Land Transport Authority of Singapore (LTA) was set up under the Ministry of Transport to spearhead land transport developments in Singapore. The primary role of LTA includes:
- Planning, designing, construction, management and maintenance of the transit systems, roads and related facilities;
- Acting as agent of the Singapore Government in the administration, assessment, collection and enforcement of various taxes, fees and charges and other services relating to land transportation;
- Regulating both private and public transport, and manages Singapore’s transport needs to provide an efficient and cost-effective transport system that includes bus, train, taxis and cars;
- Advising the Singapore Government on matters related to the land transport system; and
- Representing Singapore internationally in respect of matters relating to land transport.
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