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Using data analytics to improve Singapore’s transport system

Nurdianah Md Nur | June 2, 2014
LTA and IBM will be aggregating data from SMRT and StarHub and applying analytics to it to gain actionable insights for public transport incident management.

IBM-LTA Faster collaboration in singapore
LTA-IBM FASTER collaboration with industry partners at the World Summit Cities 2014 in Singapore.

(From left to right) Dr Lim Woo Lip, Vice President & Centre Director, SmartHub StarHub; Dr Laura, Wynter - Research Director, Research Collaboratory, IBM Singapore; Tan Tong Hai, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, StarHub Ltd; Janet Ang,  Managing Director, IBM Singapore; Mr Chew Hock Yong, Chief Executive, LTA; Desmond Kuek, President and Chief Executive Officer, SMRT Corporation Ltd;  Roswina Howe-Teo Group Director, Innovation and InfoComm Technology Group, LTA; Oon Jin Gee - Head, Infocomm & Organisation Excellence, SMRT Corporation

The Land Transport Authority of Singapore (LTA), SMRT Corporation Ltd (SMRT), StarHub and IBM today (2 June 2014) announced a research collaboration to improve the commuter experience in Singapore. The announcement was made at this year's World Cities Summit at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre.

Named Fusion AnalyticS for public Transport Emergency Response (FASTER), the collaboration will enable the authorities to better respond and manage public transport incidents.

As part of the agreement, LTA and IBM will combine farecard information and video data from selected MRT stations from SMRT with anonymised telecommunications data from StarHub. Data-driven analytic models will then be used to provide situational awareness, as well as impact predictions and actionable insights for mitigating any anticipated impacts.

"These analytics will enable us and transport operators to better manage public transport incidents and special events through improved resource allocation and pre-emptive crowd management," said Chew Hock Yong, LTA's chief executive. For instance, in the event of a train breakdown, IBM's analytics solution will use various available data, such as road traffic conditions and bus locations, to enable an operator to quickly create a bus bridge plan to shuttle passengers to the next station.

Besides using FASTER for incident response and management, it can also be used to offer transport operators a visualisation of Singapore's mobility patterns and provide a basis for recommendations for improving resiliency of bus schedules or route. Transport authorities also stand to gain by obtaining a full view of the commuter situation.

 

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