The Ministry of Manpower has laid down a rule for all employers to reduce the Maximum Passenger Capacity (MPC) allowable on all employee transportation vehicles by 25%. With this new regulation, you can expect to incur more costs. Demand-responsive technology can help you save costs while improving service levels, and even ensure safety in your employee transport.
Typical employer-provided transport is inflexible, with fixed routes, fleets and schedules that do not adjust to fluctuations in demand. This leads to inefficiencies that may cost you more in the long run. Technology solutions can not only optimise resources leading to potentially reduced costs, it can also enhance safety within the workplace.
Imagine “ride-sharing” on your company buses. Employees book onto the company bus through a mobile app and get picked up from a location close to their homes. They sit with other colleagues while complying with safe distancing measures on board the vehicles.
Behind demand-responsive transport lies a smart algorithm that calculates the optimal fleet combination to deploy based on the allowable MPC, maximising fleet utilisation and occupancy rate. The algorithm pools employees living within the same area together and generates the most efficient routes that reduces trip times and detours.
The system plans the transport service, taking into account any change in employee schedules automatically. Such technology does not require large fleets and can work with your existing fleet operators to execute.
A large marine and engineering company headquartered in Tuas has to cater transport for 1500 employees daily. Initially, the company transport picked up employees from 9 MRT stations in the morning and dropped them off at 2 MRT stations in the evening.
The HR department was concerned about attrition rates as the employees faced long and inconvenient commutes (most had to transfer to get to their pick-up points) everyday. The company decided to switch to a technology-based transport solution that not only improved their employees’ commutes, but also increased their service levels and gave them insights into ridership and operations, such as the number of employees taking the bus each month.
The large corporation worked with the technology company SWAT Mobility. SWAT Mobility provides demand-responsive transport technology for employee transportation.
Using their app SWATBiz, employees book their rides for an entire month under a “Commute Pass”. They can check the bus pick up time, estimated work arrival time, view the buses location, provide daily feedback, and make payment on the app.
With SWAT Mobility, the number of stops served increased from 9 fixed pick-up points to over 200 points islandwide that are all within 10 minutes walking distance of employees' homes. Similarly, the drop-off points expanded to over 80 points close to various MRT and LRT stations in the evening. Routes are optimised based on employee bookings and other constraints the company works with SWAT Mobility on setting, such as total ride duration and distance to home.
Bus utilisation rate improved from 62% to 80%. The company managed to reap cost savings as they stopped paying for unnecessary empty seats. SWAT Mobility also sends the company status updates and review of key metrics. Regular reporting ensures that the employee transport remains cost-effective and the agreed-upon service levels are delivered.
Through surveys, staff have feedback that they are highly satisfied with SWAT Mobility’s services as they no longer need to make multiple transfers on public transport in order to reach their pickup points.
The VP of the HR department at the large corporation vouches for SWAT Mobility, saying “I am confident their routing technology, easy-to-use passenger apps, will continue to help improve work commutes for our employees, making it convenient, affordable and comfortable.
SWAT Mobility’s system enables contact tracing through ride bookings that are automatically tracked and recorded. It also allows for physical distancing on board your vehicles, allocating rides to passengers based on the allowed MPC. The technology can also account for split shift arrangements. It adjusts the transport schedule based on the employees rotating rosters, with automated route planning and vehicle assignments.