New Zealand's first Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) Marketplace app to ease traffic congestion has been launched in Queenstown.
The release of the new and free transport app, Choice, was announced by Transport Minister Simon Bridge, who says, “Mobility as a Service is a new approach to transport that combines journey options from all transport providers into a single mobile service.
“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.
Bridges says 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,” Bridges adds.
The creation of the nation's first MaaS marketplace app was motivated by Queentown's popularity and congestion over the snow season specifically, as well as New Zealand's small size.
The MaaS Marketplace pilot will test a range of digital solutions that all aim to solve congestion and road safety issues.
Bridges says the Queenstown pilot is a new approach to transport and aims 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,” continues Bridges.
“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.
NZTA, Otago Regional Council, Queenstown Lakes District Council and Auckland Transport have collaborated on the pilot app, with support from Destination Queenstown and Queenstown's local transport providers.
Moreover, the marketplace is powered by Satori, a fully manage platform-as-a-service that collates openly available data feeds from transport providers, such as route plans, GPS locations, and timetables, in one place.
The initial version of the MaaS Marketplace will be focused on the winter season in Queenstown, with later versions focusing on exploring the region during the summer months.
The Choice app is now available for download from the Google Play store.