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
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.
The app is available for download for iOS and Android smartphones.
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