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Mobility app aims to cut the US carbon footprint

Cowlines calculates it is available for iOS download to 190 million people across 62 cities in the US and Canada

Users of the Cowlines app can choose the fastest, cheapest or greenest route
Users of the Cowlines app can choose the fastest, cheapest or greenest route

Cowlines, a multimodal transportation app, has been launched in 62 cities across North America and Canada including the metro regions of Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, San Diego, Toronto and New York City.


The move follows a pilot of the app in the city of Vancouver in March 2018.


Solving complex commuting


According to Cowlines, the app solves “complex commutes” by offering customised routes that aggregates and combines any transportation option to move around the city and claims it delivers up to 50 per cent faster routes for non-car trips compared to other apps.


Cowlines users use the free app to plan their commutes by choosing a route based on what matters most to them. Users can plan their trip by selecting the fastest, cheapest or greenest route to take, combining any form of transportation available.


Users can know the total cost of a trip, how long it takes them to get there and calculate their carbon footprint. Cowlines not only aggregates all transport options available but quantifies the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions based on the route, using a proprietary methodology based on international standards and best practices.


Cowlines said it is “moving the needle forward” by enabling modal shift for cleaner and more sustainable forms of transport in cities by integrating public transit, ride-share, bike-share, car-share and taxis into a single personalised route.

“Today’s urban mobility landscape is extremely complex with a gamut of mobility options that did not exist a decade ago"

By 2030, it is expected more than two-thirds of populations worldwide (68 per cent) are projected to live in urban centres (United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs), increasing the challenges of congestion and urban density and climate change concerns.


One quarter of energy-related GHG emissions (23 per cent) come from transportation (International Energy Agency) and if one per cent of the population in each city uses Cowlines to regularly commute to work, 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 could be saved each year, an environmental impact that is the equivalent of taking 320,000 cars off the road, it claims.


“We are seeing innovative mobility-as-a-service technologies transform the way people approach mobility and how they move around the cities. Cowlines has worked to bring a fresh new way to not only deal with making transportation more seamless but aim to make a direct impact on social and environmental benefits with their solution,” said Greg Moore, former chair of Metro Vancouver.


“Municipal governments are aligning their policies towards the common goal of increasing the livability of city life and fighting climate change. I look forward to witnessing the positive impact Cowlines will have driving accountability to the choices we make in transportation options and the benefits of multimodal mobility on the future of our cities.”


Working with transit agencies


Cowlines said its solution is highly scalable and low-cost and puts the environment and the people first while fighting climate change. As part of its North American introduction, it is working with hundreds of transit agencies and private providers to accelerate a smart future for cities.


“Today’s urban mobility landscape is extremely complex with a gamut of mobility options that did not exist a decade ago. Traffic congestion is the leading source of GHG emissions in cities, and integrated mobility is the future of clean and efficient transportation,” added Jonathan Whitworth, co-owner and chief strategy officer of mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) company, Greenlines Technology.


“We are proud to deliver the first app that intuitively combines any form of transport across cities in the US and Canada to help residents and visitors navigate the urban landscape without relying on private cars, while reducing carbon emissions for each trip.”


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