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Speech by SMS Chee Hong Tat at the official launch of Zipster

Speech by SMS Chee Hong Tat at the official launch of Zipster

Prof Yaacob Ibrahim, Chairman, mobilityX Advisory Board,

Mr Seah Moon Ming, Chairman, SMRT, 

Mr Peter Tan, Chairman, mobilityX Board of Directors,

Mr Colin Lim, CEO, mobilityX, 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. A very good afternoon to all of you. I am happy to join you today at the official launch of Zipster – Singapore’s first Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) application across multiple modes of transport. 

2. Technology is reshaping all industries and different aspects of our lives. This includes the transport sector, where ride-sharing firms such as Grab and GoJek have already transformed the way private transport is offered and consumed. Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) is poised to be the next wave of transformation. By integrating mobility services such as public transport, taxis, and car and bicycle sharing, MaaS offers commuters a more streamlined and personalised experience.  There are also benefits to society as a whole, as such services can further improve the overall efficiency of our transport system.

3. Zipster, developed by mobilityX, offers its customers transport planning capabilities across multiple modes of transport. This complements mobilityX’s transport advisory and estate-level transport operations analytics and optimisation services. 

4. I am pleased to officially launch Zipster today.  This is the first integrated multi-modal MaaS application in Singapore. It is also an example of how businesses can collaborate with the Government and with one another to innovate, solve practical problems and seize new economic opportunities. 

5. mobilityX is a startup seeded by SMRT to testbed innovative urban mobility solutions. It goes beyond public transport and taxis, to include e-bike and ride-sharing services in a single app. mobilityX has also partnered AXA Insurance to provide mobility-related insurance for users in Zipster, such as reimbursement for personal accidents, medical expenses, and personal liability.  It is a “bao ka liao” mobility app that offers commuters greater convenience and cost savings. 

6. To support business innovation, the Government strives to develop a pro-enterprise regulatory environment. This requires close collaboration with businesses, especially for new ideas that push existing boundaries. 

7. For example, mobilityX wanted to offer subscription packages through Zipster that bundle the usage of different transport modes with additional services. This is a new concept in Singapore, it is the first combined public and private transport subscription package for commuters. It is therefore not surprising that when our agencies first encounter such new ideas, the initial thought was that these might run contrary to our current rules and regulations. Fortunately, our regulators are open to new ideas and they are prepared to change their assumptions and positions based on feedback. In my view, this is an essential part of smart regulation, and one way which Singapore can differentiate ourselves from the competition.   

8. By working closely with MOT, LTA and PTC together with the Pro-Enterprise Panel, mobilityX obtained the green light for Zipster to trial subscription-based pricing to customers using the Z card. This feature will be rolled out by the end of the year. I thank our colleagues from these government agencies for their support and would like to compliment them for their openness to support new business ideas.  

9. MTI and the Pro-Enterprise Panel will continue to facilitate mobility-focused innovation and support our companies by advocating their proposals with other Government agencies. This includes calls by LTA and Enterprise Singapore for SMEs to propose solutions to transform the land transport sector, and through mobility-focused competitions like LTA’s Singapore Mobility Challenge and Enterprise Singapore’s Trade and Connectivity Challenge. 

10. We are also exploring the application of new technologies, such as the test-bedding of autonomous vehicles (AVs) in NTU, one-north and Sentosa to understand how AVs operate in a real-life environment. This is the direction I have set for JTC’s industrial estates and Sentosa, to position these locations as pilot sites and regulatory sandboxes to support the deployment of new technologies and testing of innovative business ideas.  

11. We also have many other initiatives and platforms to support aspiring entrepreneurs and startups. These include Enterprise Singapore’s annual SLINGSHOT competition for promising startups to pitch to investors. 

12. Last but not least, we encourage companies to scale up their business and expand overseas to access new ideas, customers and opportunities. Enterprise Singapore is working with mobilityX to take their Zipster model to other countries.  There are risks involved when we go overseas, but there are also significant rewards if we succeed.  As a society, we must be prepared to take calculated risks and accept some failure if we want to successfully come up with new ideas and enter new markets.  This applies to businesses and individuals; it also applies to the Government. We are not buying durians, there is no “bao jiak”.

13. Let me conclude by congratulating mobilityX on the successful launch of Zipster today. My best wishes to Colin and the team in your future endeavours and overseas expansion. I hope your story will inspire more businesses to continue innovating and breaking new frontiers.  Thank you.

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