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Guidance aims to ensure app developers and organisations offer more streamlined journeys for travellers while making sure the technology is accessible to all.

The UK government has launched a mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) code of practice that aims to ensure app developers and organisations offer more streamlined journeys for travellers while making sure the technology is accessible to all.

MaaS apps typically bring together data, such as timetabling or ticket prices, from multiple types of transport to offer streamlined choices to travellers all in one place. The guidance encourages app platform providers to consider accessibility needs when suggesting routes, which could include outlining wheelchair-accessible routes and stations and providing step-free options for all journeys.

Personal safety considerations

The guidance also recommends that app providers consider the personal safety of users when suggesting routes. For example, apps should allow people to choose “main roads only” options for journeys, keeping to well-lit roads. Apps should also be able to share their live location with a contact while on the move.

Further recommendations include ensuring apps consider users in rural areas where internet connectivity could make accessing online journey planning difficult. As part of this, platforms are encouraged to include offline options, such as a phone number for ordering taxis or claiming compensation for delays.

“New technologies are transforming how we travel, making journeys easier for those with disabilities and connecting rural towns and villages better, among much else,” said technology and decarbonisation minister Jesse Norman.

“With the new code of practice, the Department for Transport (DfT) is encouraging app providers to make the most of the new technology, helping to ensure potentially vulnerable groups and communities are not left behind.”

Examples of MaaS platform operators already operating in the UK include Swift in the West Midlands. Now the largest smart ticketing scheme outside London, Swift cards can be used as a ticket for train, bus or tram services, as well as car parking and season tickets. The scheme has 190,000 active smartcard holders with 45 million journeys completed over the past 12 years.

In 2020, DfT also awarded funding to Solent Transport as part of its Future Transport Zones programme to develop a transport app for the region. The new app, Breeze, allows people on the south coast to plan, book and pay for all journeys, including public transport, cycling, e-scooters and ferries. It also provides information about how busy services are and suggests the greenest way to travel.

“As the UK’s first multi-city MaaS app with integrated ticketing, Breeze is already proving popular across south Hampshire and the Isle of Wight with over 7,000 users inside its first 10 months of operation,” said Conrad Haigh, Solent Transport manager. “Giving customers the travel information they need and bringing clarity to travel options are critical to the continued success of Breeze.”

“As a partnership of the local transport authorities for Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton, Solent Transport has a varied mix of transport services to integrate into Breeze and a blend of urban, semi-urban and rural environments to navigate.

“With support from our academic partners the University of Portsmouth and University of Southampton, the Solent region offers the perfect testing ground to trial and evaluate effective delivery of a MaaS app.”


Quelle/Source: SmartCitiesWorld, 30.08.2023

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