Featured image: Screenshot of the Choice App YouTube video by NZ Transport Agency.
The first free and open Mobility as a Service (MaaS) Marketplace app, Choice, has been launched in Queenstown today, Transport Minister Simon Bridges says.
“Mobility as a Service is a new approach to transport that combines journey options from all transport providers into a single mobile service,” Mr. Bridges says.
“The Choice app connects users with services through an online marketplace, so they can pick what they want to do, use the live transport information to help get them there, and easily book their journey – all from one application.
“This new service will improve transport options for residents and tourists, enabling new mobility options and providing a better travel experience.
“Choice is available in three languages and will be a boost for the tourism industry, reducing the language barriers for tourists using the local transport system.
“With nearly 2 million tourists visiting Queenstown annually, the Choice app will provide visitors with all the information they need to know about exploring, relaxing and enjoying Queenstown and the surrounding area,” Mr. Bridges says.
New Zealand’s small size and Queenstown’s popularity over the snow season have been the drivers for the first MaaS Marketplace pilot in New Zealand. The pilot will contribute to the testing of digital solutions to help solve congestion and road safety issues.
Mr. Bridges says the Queenstown pilot is a new approach to transport to improve the timeliness and accessibility of New Zealand’s transport information, with a focus on improving the experience of anyone who chooses to move around the region.
“Enabling the utilisation of improved transport information alongside technology like the MaaS Marketplace is a real game changer,” Mr. Bridges says.
“With this approach New Zealand’s current transport infrastructure will change to a future transport system of effective journey planning, live information and greater choices for individuals and communities giving them back time to do what’s important.”
The pilot has been a collaboration between the NZTA, Otago Regional Council, Queenstown Lakes District Council and Auckland Transport, supported by Destination Queenstown and Queenstown’s local transport providers. The next phase of the pilot will be bringing the marketplace concept to Auckland.
The initial version of the MaaS Marketplace will target the winter Queenstown experience; with later versions focusing on exploring the region during the summer months. The Queenstown pilot will also inform a second stage in Auckland later in the year.
The Choice app beta will be available for download from the Google Play store and Apple IOS store from August 24 2017.
Choice has a second release planned for early December with future releases planned for the Queenstown summer.