New Zealand’s first free and open Mobility as a Service (MaaS) Marketplace application, Choice, has been launched in the South Island resort of Queenstown by the country’s Transport Minister, Simon Bridges.
New Zealand’s small size and Queenstown’s popularity over the snow season have been the drivers for the first MaaS Marketplace pilot in the country. The pilot will contribute to the testing of digital solutions to help solve New Zealand’s congestion and road safety issues. The Queenstown initiative is a new approach to transport that aims to improve the timeliness and accessibility of the country’s transport information, with a focus on creating a better travel experience for anyone who chooses to move around the region. The Choice app beta pilot will test the viability to scale the real-time open mobility marketplace across New Zealand, with a second release planned for early December and future releases planned for the Queenstown summer. The next phase of the pilot will bring the MaaS Marketplace concept to Auckland later in the year.
The pilot has been a collaboration between the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), Otago Regional Council, Queenstown Lakes District Council, and Auckland Transport, supported by Destination Queenstown and the town’s local transport providers. The MaaS Marketplace’s platform is powered by Satori, a live, cloud-based, data platform that allows users to connect, process and react to streaming live data. Satori pulls all the openly available data feeds for transport providers such as route plans, GPS locations, timetables, and fleet numbers into one place.
“Mobility as a Service is a new approach to transport that combines journey options from all transport providers into a single mobile service,” explained Bridges. “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 nearly 2 million tourists visiting Queenstown annually. Enabling the utilization of improved transport information alongside technology like the MaaS Marketplace is a real game changer. With this approach, New Zealand’s current transport infrastructure will change to a future system of effective journey planning, live information, and greater choices for individuals and communities.”