The Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership (HITRANS) is trialling a new mobility platform that will offer all modes of transport through a single smartphone app.
The Partnership will use Fleetondemand’s Mobilleo platform to help support its GO-HI rural MaaS project.
The app will form part of a customised supply chain that provides residents and visitors in the Highlands and Islands with access to buses, trains, car hire, car clubs, bicycle hire, air travel and ferries.
This will allow users to plan their journeys and find, book and pay for all modes of transport using any iPhone or Android mobile device.
Project partners include Enterprise Car Club and Car Hire, Bewegen, Stagecoach Bus, West Coast Motors, Inverness Taxis, ScotRail, Loganair and SkedGo.
The 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 decisions about the provision of services.
The pilot project is due to go live in March 2021.
It is being funded by the EU North Sea Region Stronger Combined project, and the Scottish government’s MaaS Investment Fund.
The £2 million 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 region.
The HITRANS region is home to 10% of Scotland’s population and accounts for approximately 50% of Scotland's land mass.
This includes long, remote coastlines, mountainous areas and many inhabited islands that currently create barriers to the movement and transportation of people and goods.
Ranald Robertson, director at HITRANS, said: “This pioneering project is an ambitious region-wide solution that has the potential to make a significant contribution to improve accessibility for residents and visitors.
“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 also help to create healthier lifestyles by improving the sustainable travel choices people can make in the region, including active travel opportunities.”
HITRANS has appointed Marelise Hamar to lead the MaaS project.
Hamar joined HITRANS in May this year after making the move to the Highlands from the South East of England.
She brings experience from the aerospace, automotive and security printing industries where she has held numerous project-based roles.