Victoria’s RACV has launched what it claims to be the first mobility-as-a-service app outside of Europe.
The motoring club and mutual organisation’s smartphone app, Arevo, lets Melburnians plan, pay and access transport options, which negates the need to switch apps when determining the best route to a destination.
An RACV spokesperson told CIO Australia that the app was created for Victorians but the company expects similar concepts to be available in every major Australian urban centre eventually.
A similar app launched in Berlin, Germany last week with services also already available in Helsinki in Finland; Amsterdam, and the United Kingdom.
Arevo helps users chart the quickest or cheapest route to a destination – depending on what is preferred. Users can top up their Myki, book a car parking space, taxi or Uber, find a shared car or bike to use, or find out about service cancellations or disruptions.
The app was developed as part of the mobility-as-a-service model which removes the need for users to trawl through multiple transport apps on their smartphones that don’t talk to each other.
“Beyond assisting Melburnians get where they need to be efficiently and easily, there is a long-term vision of Arevo easing congestion and encouraging more sustainable travel modes, RACV general manager, mobility Elizabeth Kim said in a statement.
“With just one app, Melburnians will have access to the various transport options across Melbourne and may even be inspired to make the switch to other transport options,” Kim said.
An RACV spokesperson said the organisation’s policy team has been researching the importance of mobility-as-a-service.
They believe a good platform should give people better information about the transport choices available to them and the benefits and costs of their transport decisions.
“This is fundamental to the idea of enabling smarter behaviour which is a big aspect of state and local government transport policy, which aspires to achieve higher all-day public transport us and promotes active transport such as walking or cycling in the place of car use,” the spokesperson said.
Mobility apps also address the ‘seams’ in our travel experiences. These include poor integration between modes, being stuck on a platform because we don’t know about a cancelled service, or sitting in traffic due to an incident further up the road, not being to top-up their Myki, or needing to log in to various different provider apps to complete a journey.
Ironing out these seams is getting more important as Melbourne is expected to grow to 8 million people by 2050.
“In a city of that scale, smart transport behaviour and the efficient use of our roads and rail networks will be critical. This is where we see mobility-as-a-service helping,” the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, the NSW government appears to be trailing its counterparts south of the border. Last May, Transport for New South Wales launched its ‘Future Transport Digital Accelerator’ in Sydney to help the startup community work with the agency to solve transport problems.
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