SWAT Mobility supports Toyota Mobility Foundation to launch safe commuter transport for front-line healthcare workers in Manila, Philippines

Published on:
May 8, 2020

Manila, Philippines - SWAT Mobility has partnered with Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF), an independent non-profit foundation with the mission to enable mobility, to offer demand-responsive commuter transport for the healthcare workers in Manila, Philippines. It will serve one of the largest hospitals in Manila, the Philippine General Hospital starting early May.

This initiative aims to offer the partner hospitals’ staff a safe and convenient commute, free-of-charge so that they can have peace of mind travelling to and from the hospital during this period. Demand-responsive transport is especially pertinent since the lockdown and reduction of public transport levels have resulted in greater inconvenience for these workers. 

Using our Just In Time product, the service will operate with approximately 7 vehicles, 20 hours each day within the pre-set geofence, to serve close to a thousand staff in the Philippine General Hospital. Staff include doctors, nurses and hospital support staff.

During their commutes, social distancing among the staff will be enforced, with vehicle capacity halved for this purpose. The vehicles will be equipped with air purification devices and sanitisation products for passengers. Each vehicle will be sanitised frequently, including the seat covers that will be changed periodically. 

As these healthcare workers work in shifts, the service timings are pegged to these shift timings. For staff getting to work, they will get picked up from a close-to-home location and sent to work in time for their shifts. Similarly, after the end of their shift, the staff ending at the same time and living in similar areas will be pooled together in a vehicle. 

Staff are provided with a mobile app to book their rides on the transport. All they have to do is book up to 30 minutes before the set departure time from the hospital. Our algorithm collates these bookings and generates routes for the service within minutes. The routes are optimised to ensure the pick-up/ drop-off locations are convenient for the staff, and the vehicles are utilised as fully as possible. Through the app, the staff can find out which van or bus they are taking and view their bus location in real time, giving them ease of mind about their daily commutes.

SWAT’s Just In Time solution generates dynamic (non-fixed) routes every single time, each customised to whoever booked rides for a particular timing. The system also automatically assigns the vehicles to drivers and allocates seats to commuters based on safe distancing measures. The technology makes transport planning in response to Covid-19 very easy for operators, even taking into account the sanitisation schedule. 

The planning and execution of these projects were done in a short time due to the urgency of deployment in this time of crisis, but such services can be set up quickly and easily as long as the key information required for service levels design is in place. 

Regarding the next steps for TMF’s sanitised shuttle service, the service is set to roll out in Bangkok and Jakarta within the month of May as well. These deployments will serve as a model for any future collaboration to offer transport for healthcare workers. Mr. Pras Ganesh, Program Director for Asia Region, TMF, said,*

"Once standardized, the operating procedure will also be made available to anyone who would like to provide similar services."

With most countries on lockdown, providing a means of safe transport for front-line and essential service workers is undeniably important, especially one that allows for safe distancing and easy contact tracing. Even after the lockdown, such a transport offering will remain relevant to help companies give their employees a more convenient commute.

* https://global.toyota/en/newsroom/corporate/32126120.html