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Transport accessibility app pilot underway in Scottish Highlands

The Go-HI app allows users to plan, book and pay for an end-to-end, multimodal journey in a single transaction using their smartphone or desktop devices.

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Hitrans aims to help increase accessibility of integrated travel in rural Scotland
Hitrans aims to help increase accessibility of integrated travel in rural Scotland

A mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) app has been introduced by the Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership (Hitrans) to help increase accessibility of integrated travel for residents and visitors in rural Scotland.

The Go-HI app, developed in partnership with MaaS technology platform Mobileo allows users to plan, book and pay for an end-to-end, multimodal journey in a single transaction using their smartphone or desktop devices.

 

Demand responsive transport

 

The platform offers instant access to book buses, trains, taxis, demand responsive transport (DRT), car clubs, air travel and car hire, with bicycle hire and ferries being added to the app as the project expands.

 

To aid with achieving project objectives around a modal shift to sustainable travel options, active travel modes such as walking, and cycling are also included as part of the solution and prioritised within the app when users are planning their journeys. To support tourism in the Highlands the app can also be used to find and book hotels.

 

“This pioneering, region-wide project has the potential to make a significant contribution to improve accessibility for residents and visitors, providing a one-stop-shop for all their travel needs,” said Allan Henderson, Highland councillor and chairman at Hitrans.

“It also addresses government ambitions to reduce carbon emissions by encouraging a modal shift from sole occupancy cars to shared cars and public transport alternatives. It will help to create healthier lifestyles by improving the sustainable travel choices people can make in the region including active travel opportunities.”

 

The bespoke Go-HI app integrates several new transport partners, as well as those already on the Mobilleo platform. Project partners include Enterprise Car Club and Car Hire, Bewegen, Brompton Bike Hire, Stagecoach Bus, Shotl, West Coast Motors, Inverness Taxis, ScotRail, Loganair, Orkney Ferries, Northlink Ferries, Leeds Institute for Transport Studies and SkedGo.

“It also addresses government ambitions to reduce carbon emissions by encouraging a modal shift from sole occupancy cars to shared cars and public transport alternatives”

The pilot project is being funded by the EU North Sea Region Stronger Combined project, and the Scottish Government’s MaaS Investment Fund. The MaaS Investment Fund has been established by Transport Scotland to improve accessibility to public transport services for residents and tourists in the country’s most rural and sparsely populated regions.

“Much has changed since 2018, but as we think about the urgent need for a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, the potential of MaaS solutions in Scottish transport is perhaps more important than ever before. MaaS applications can directly support our vision for a more sustainable transport system as outlined in our National Transport Strategy, in addition to the bold commitments we’ve made through our updated Climate Change Plan,” added Graeme Dey, transport minister for Scotland, Graeme Dey.

“By creating new partnerships between the public and private sectors to focus on collaborative solutions to complex transport problems, I’m excited to see how Go-HI transforms the travel experience for residents and visitors to the Highlands and Islands.”

Data platform

 

Mobilleo reports it is providing dedicated customer support alongside the Go-HI app and a data platform that offers instant access to detailed management reporting information. In addition to promoting the app to residents and tourists, the Go-HI project team said it will be actively engaging with companies throughout the Hitrans region to encourage and mandate the use of Go-HI for business travel purposes.

 

Participating transport providers will be able to access data about the demand for their services, helping them to better understand the needs of people in the region and to make more informed decisions about the provision of services. Hitrans anticipates the post-project analysis will ultimately lead to a better public transport service for residents and visitors to the region.

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