S'pore govt launches traffic Web app

Singapore Land Transport Authority launches mobile Web app incorporating live parking data, and wants to provide this to third parties, says spokesperson.
Written by Victoria Ho, Contributor

SINGAPORE--A week after the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) called for an iPhone app to stop pulling live data from its site, the government body has launched its own mobile app carrying the same data.

Called MyTransport.Sg, the Web app is accessible on smartphone browsers and offers information such as live traffic camera feeds and bus arrival times for free.

It also lists live parking lot availability--the same information the LTA told local developer, NiiDees, to remove from its app. The authority contacted NiiDees two weeks ago, asking for the feature to be removed from the developer's Park-a-Lot Lite app, which was pulling the live data from the LTA's Web site. The local developer had been offering the service since January 2010.

An LTA spokesperson said, in an e-mail response to ZDNet Asia, it requested for the feature to be pulled because the car park lot availability information belongs to private car park owners, which have provided the data to the LTA.

The authority had to seek the permission of the car park operators for its OneMotoring portal, the spokesperson explained.

She added, however, that NiiDees had only pulled the feature "temporarily". She added that the LTA has so far obtained approval from 14 car park operators to provide information to third-party applications.

The LTA is also working with various developers to incorporate the car park lot information. "Moving forward, more car parks can be included for third-party applications, pending agreement from more car park operators," said the spokesperson.

An alternative for app developers to provide the service is to pull the live data by embedding a browser into their apps.

NiiDees could not be reached by press time for comments on the company's plans to reinstate its feature.

The LTA had worked on the app since October last year, said the spokesperson.

The transport authority has been on a drive to reach out to users online. It recently inked a deal with Google and local maps startup, Gothere.sg, to provide traffic information to users of the two online services.

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