January 21, 2020
An integrated travel solution for Manchester
Wouldn't it be great if you could have your own travel manager on you with instant access to car hire, trains, buses and trams? And what if you could plan, book and pay for each journey using a mobile app? Now you can contribute to positive change in travel habits using shared or public transport, walking and cycling, instead of driving your car. These are all possible now thanks to the EU-funded IMOVE project introduced to speed up the uptake and unlock the scalability of mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) schemes in Europe.
MaaS involves bringing transport and mobility choices together under a single digital platform, with options for pay-as-you-go or subscription packages. MaaS is seen as a viable alternative to fragmented mobility and car ownership, with potential to transform how people travel. IMOVE project partner TfGM has recently introduced a new MaaS platform for the residents of Manchester to create an integrated travel solution by improving the way in which different modes of transport work together in the city. A reduction in traffic congestion and the promotion of shared and active travel are the expected outcomes.
The project website states: "A single subscription will deliver this door-to-door service, doing away with pockets full of tickets for the bus, train or other transport." It adds: "The provider combines transportation infrastructure, travel information, payment services through one application."
In a news item on "Mobile Marketing' magazine, Sam Li, senior innovation officer at TfGM, says: "The IMOVE pilot project is helping people who work in and around Manchester use the most effective mode of transport to get to their destinations, which includes commuting to and from work and business-related journeys." He also says the objective of the project "is to encourage a positive change in travel habits, encouraging people to leave their own car at home and use shared or public transport, walk and cycle."
In addition to Manchester, IMOVE solutions are targeted at other European Living Labs: Berlin, Göteborg and Turin. In the case of Turin, the municipality's MaaS combines the following: "Public Transport, Bike Sharing, Traditional Car Sharing, Free Floating car sharing (Car2go), Electric car sharing (One Way), Carpooling (with three different operators to be integrated)," as stated on the project website. "The MaaS scheme was introduced in 2012 (with the integration of the PT and the Car Sharing) with an integrated ticketing scheme BIP—Biglietto Integrato Piemonte) covering a greater area around the city. The scheme grew up along the years including more transport modes," it adds. The municipality has also approved a plan that involves implementing "C02 certifications aiming at rewarding with credits the sustainable behaviors of citizens," according to the project website.
The IMOVE (Unlocking Large-Scale Access to Combined Mobility through a European MaaS Network) project ended in November 2019. It's expected to eventually pave the way for providing roaming services for MaaS at a cross-border European level.