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Queensland to Trial Multi-Modal App and Subscription Service

University of Queensland staff and students will participate in a year-long mobility-as-a-service trial that will allow them to plan, book and pay for multi-modal trips through an app. The trial app is called ODIN PASS and its development is being co-led with the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR).

More broadly, the trial is part of an iMOVE cooperative research centre program. iMOVE is a network of government, companies, and researchers. The ODIN PASS covers multi-modal trips made on TransLink public transport, taxis, rideshare, car-share and e-scooters and e-bikes. Private operators including Neuron, 13CABS and GoGet have also signed on as transport options. The technology itself comes from personalised trip planning, corporate mobility and other mobility-as-a-service technology company.

Trial participants can “subscribe to monthly transport plans and bundles to pay for services through the app, which will offer discounts and reward points on selected modes of transport,” the university said in a statement. It was noted that the number of participants will initially be limited to approximately 200; with this number increasing over time, up to a maximum of approximately 10,000. The Chief Operating Officer of UQ said the trial would contribute to “designing and delivering even better transport options for Brisbane.

The app gives people the option to personally tailor their trips by combining multiple transport options, including focusing on that last mile connection, said the Queensland Transport Minister. For example, some people may get off a bus and need to walk some distance to get to their desired destination, so this app will assist students to plan out a seamless transition using different transport modes to help them get to their destination faster.

This is one of the largest real-world MaaS trials undertaken in Australia in terms of the number of service providers and has the potential to shape the future of the industry. Being able to plan and test different mobility solutions through a single app is a real game-changer; traffic data has also been integrated into the app to provide information on things like road disruptions and suggested alternative routes.

Following the 12-month trial, iMOVE said the analysis would be conducted to determine if the app should be put into production permanently at UQ and whether mobility-as-a-service should be expanded more broadly” beyond the university.

University students and staff tend to be open to experimenting with and be early adopters of, new technologies. UQ is a community of tens of thousands of people who travel to and from – and between – UQ campuses. UQ’s St Lucia campus is also a large regional attractor, the second-largest commuter destination in Brisbane after the CBD and is home to a group of world-renowned researchers specialising in transport and sustainable engineering research.

These factors combined make UQ a natural place for a real-world project to test and research innovative approaches for improved mobility. Sustainable transport solutions are an important part of UQ’s vision, and the university is actively exploring opportunities to support mobility innovation that can improve the daily lives of UQ staff and students.

Given this, TMR and UQ, through this iMOVE project, will deploy a MaaS trial exclusively available to UQ staff and students. The project is centred around the use of a smartphone app for MaaS users to sign-up and manages their mobility passes (or plans). This app will include an advanced MaaS journey planner, through which users will be able to plan and book multi-modal trips in South East Queensland.

Trial participants will purchase different MaaS passes, which will vary in price depending on the specific inclusions. The passes will include options such as unlimited public transport, and unlimited e-bike/escooter-share (time-limited trips), as well as provide discounts on taxi/ride-sharing trips, and car-sharing. Other additional transport modes may also be assessed and considered for inclusion as the trial progresses.

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