Companies situated outside the city center or away from dense commercial districts are often underserved by public transit. This is especially true in manufacturing and industrial employment hubs with a large geographic footprint. These employment hubs face hurdles in getting their employees to and from work. Their employees taking public transit typically make multiple transfers between buses, subways, and by foot, adding stress and time to their commute.
This case study highlights how RideCo worked with its fleet partner and a public sector agency to launch a new, affordable, on-demand shuttle solution for employees and visitors in a large industrial area where fixed route shuttles were not meeting the needs of the employers, staff, and visitors because of its poor territory coverage and low frequency. The dynamic on-demand shuttle service reduced commuting time, improved employee satisfaction, and productivity for workers and visitors at the various employers in the industrial zone.
The video below demonstrates the service model, using anonymized locations.
Jurong Island is an industrial zone off the coast of mainland Singapore. It is home to dozens of businesses mostly in the petrochemical space, such as BP and ExxonMobil. Traditional public transit does not operate in the zone. This makes job access difficult, particularly for blue-collar workers who may not have personal cars.
Jurong Town Corporation (JTC), a public agency that manages the industrial zone, approached RideCo’s client Grab about a dynamic-route shuttle service that could improve mobility for employees and visitors moving within the zone, and moving to and from the nearest public transit nodes: the mainland checkpoint (bus) and the Boon Lay MRT Station (rail). The desire was to use two 13- or 23-seater shuttles or buses.
In preparation for this service, Grab and RideCo worked closely to design the service parameters with feedback and guidance from JTC (public agency). It was important to tailor the service to the unique needs of the employees and visitors on the island. Through continuous iteration, a successful model was deployed. Periodic iterations are ongoing, as the service continues to grow and evolve.
The service would need to:
The shuttle service runs daily, operating between 9:30 am and 10:30 pm with a two-hour hiatus at 4:30 pm. Approximately 90 building entrances are served, with travel allowed both intra-zone and to the two key bus and rail transit hubs. A maximum waiting time of 45 minutes is set, and trips take no longer than 20 minutes longer than a direct car ride. A typical direct car ride takes 25 minutes.
The Metro station lies well outside the zone’s boundaries. To avoid both shuttles being sent there in short succession, RideCo’s technology groups trips together both when booking a ride and when servicing a ride to ensure that one vehicle serves as many passengers leaving the zone as possible. This keeps a vehicle available to serve new bookings in a timely fashion.
Per the public agency’s request, RideCo’s dynamic shuttle system ensures that:
The program was launched in April 2018.
RideCo works with companies and organizations to provide cost-effective commuter solutions for their employees in industrial, low-density areas that are underserved by transit, increasing employee retention, satisfaction, and productivity.
Title image by Jacklee. - Own work., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21889773