Queenstown will serve as a pilot location for a new transportation app that seeks solutions for the resort town’s chronic congestion problems.
The Mobility as a Service Marketplace app, known as a MaaS is called Choice, and aims to connect users with transportation services through an online market place. Queenstown has a permanent population of 28,224 people, and is one of New Zealand’s fastest growing centres, with nearly 23 per cent population growth over the last ten years. Queenstown also receives nearly 2 million tourists every year, putting pressure on the resort town’s transportation infrastructure.
The app will collate available data feeds for transport providers (such as route plans, GPS locations, timetables and fleet numbers) into one place. Businesses currently signed onto the pilot include public transport provider Ritchies, three taxi companies and a ride sharing service, four ski fields and other tourism operators.
The pilot is a collaboration between the NZTA, Otago Regional Council, Queenstown Lakes District Council and Auckland Transport, supported by Destination Queenstown and Queenstown’s local transport providers. Auckland Transport’s interest lies in the potential next phase of the app’s development. Should the Queenstown pilot prove successful, Choice will be rolled out in Auckland.
Minister for Transport Simon Bridges says that the app will be available in three languages, a feature that will help reduce barriers to foreign visitor’s access to transport systems.
“With nearly 2 million tourists visiting Queenstown annually, the Choice app will provide visitors with all the information they need to know about exploring, relaxing and enjoying Queenstown and the surrounding area.”
“Enabling the utilisation of improved transport information alongside technology like the MaaS Marketplace is a real game changer,” Mr Bridges says.
The app is available on Android from today, and will be rolled out to the Apple app store next week.