Phase 2 (Heightened Alert): What Our Popular Bus App Tells Us About Crowd Levels in Singapore - Originally US
Phase 2 (Heightened Alert): What Our Popular Bus App Tells Us About Crowd Levels in Singapore

Our flagship consumer app, SG BusLeh (iOS | Android) is an app used by majority Singaporeans for their public transportation needs. 

Because of the sheer amount of users using our app to check bus arrival timings everyday, we think that our daily usage figures are pretty reflective of the volume of public transport travel in Singapore.

In other words, we think that lesser daily active users for SG BusLeh would mean that more Singaporeans are staying at home, providing some useful insights to the effectiveness and level of compliance of Singaporeans.

So, how are we doing so far under Phase 2 (Heightened Alert)?

Let’s look at our daily active users (DAU) on some key dates:

First Day of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert)

16 May 2021 (Sunday) vs 09 May 2021 (previous Sunday)

16 May 2021 marks the first day of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert). We record 36,649 active users, which is 28.5% lower than the previous Sunday.

First Working Day of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert)

17 May 2021 (Monday) vs 10 May 2021 (previous Monday)

This is the first working day of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert). We record 59,820 active users, which is 20.3% lower than the previous Monday.

Second Working Day of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert)

18 May 2021 (Tuesday) vs 11 May 2021 (previous Tuesday)

18 May was the second working day of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert). On this day, we record 57,611 active users. This is 23.5% less than the previous Tuesday.

First Day of Home-Based Learning

19 May (Wednesday) vs 12 May (previous Wednesday)

The first day of Home-Based Learning where many students don’t have to travel to school sees a more significant drop of 35.1% in daily active users.

Indeed, the above shows that Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) resulted in significantly lesser travel among Singaporeans, especially on weekends. However, is this enough and comparable to last year’s Circuit Breaker and Phase 1 & 2?

To understand this, we look at our DAUs last year during the Circuit Breaker period:

First Day of Circuit Breaker

07 Apr 2020 (Tuesday) vs 17 May (Tuesday)

7 April 2020 was the first day of Circuit Breaker. On that day we recorded 43,516 active users, which is 40.8% lower than 17 May 2021. This means that there are still a significant number of Singaporeans taking public transport as compared to Circuit Breaker last year.

First Friday of Circuit Breaker

10 Apr 2020 (Friday) vs 20 May (Friday)

By the first Friday of Circuit Breaker last year, our active user count dropped to an incredible 19,362. This is a whopping 76.2% decrease in the number of users compared to 20 Mar 2020 (before Circuit Breaker).

First Day of Original Phase 2 (2020)

18 June 2020 (Thursday) vs 21 May (Thursday)

Now we take a look at the first day of the original Phase 2 in 2020. We recorded 42,672 active users, which is 57.6% higher than 21 May 2020, a Thursday in the middle of the second month of Circuit Breaker.

From the above, we see that:

1) Singaporeans are still travelling more than in Phase 1 and 2 last year. It can be said that while no dine-in are allowed during Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), this is still a far cry from the situation during Circuit Breaker last year.

2) During the first week of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), Singaporeans are still travelling as much as 3 times more compared to the Circuit Breaker period last year. If the COVID-19 cases are not coming down, perhaps more drastic measures may be taken to make people stay at home.

3) The usage data seems to suggest that either many Singaporeans are still travelling and reporting to work, which should not be the case given that WFH should be the default arrangement, or, many Singaporeans are still travelling out for meals and leisure. 

Our Work From Home Stance

At Originally US, we have reverted to a fully WFH arrangement (previously we return to office once a week) for the foreseeable future.

Beyond simply reverting to a full WFH arrangement, our company is also a proud adopter of the Tripartite Standard on Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA), and actively implements measures that increase our staffs’ safety, such as flexible work hours to encourage travelling to work during off-peak hours.

These times are tough and collective effort is needed now more than ever before. Please stay home, and stay safe.

Aside: Find out how we have adapted to COVID-19 here and some tips on how your business can adapt to a COVID-19 world!

Originally US is an award-winning mobile app & digital consultancy that specializes in providing end-to-end consultancy, design & development services to clients in a wide range of industries, such as Insurance, Fintech, Government, Healthcare and Tourism.

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