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Pioneering travel app launched in the Highlands to enable residents, tourists and business travellers to make greater use of public transport and car sharing

By Val Sweeney

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Councillor Allan Henderson, chairman of Hitrans, with the new app.
Councillor Allan Henderson, chairman of Hitrans, with the new app.

The Highlands are leading the way with the launch of a groundbreaking public transport app.

The Go-Hi app is designed to make it easier for residents, tourists and business travellers to access the information to enable greater use of public transport and car sharing and to decide when cycling is an option.

It has been developed by the regional transport partnership HiTrans, in partnership with a leading technology firm, to provide instant access to information on buses, trains, taxis, car hire, car clubs, bicycle hire, air travel and ferries.

Users can plan their journeys and find, book and pay for all modes of transport in one place using any iPhone or android mobile device.

The app is powered by Fleetondemand’s Mobilleo Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform, which has been built with the capacity to deploy partner MaaS schemes using its powerful white label capabilities.

It is being funded by the EU North Sea Region Stronger Combined project and the Scottish Government’s MaaS Investment Fund.

Councillor Allan Henderson, chairman of HiTrans, said: "This pioneering project provides a one-stop shop for all travel needs, combining a journey planner with real-time travel information, tickets and payment options, allowing integration of bus, rail, flight, bike, car club, demand responsive transport, car rental and taxi operators across the Highlands.

"It 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."

Minister for transport Graeme Dey said the Scottish Government saw great potential in the future of MaaS and a real opportunity for Scotland to be at the forefront of developments.

"That’s why in 2018, our programme for government committed to establish the MaaS investment fund," he said.

"Much has changed since 2018, but as we think about the urgent need for a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, the potential of MaaS solutions in Scottish transport is perhaps more important than ever before."

Partners include Enterprise Car Club and Car Hire, Bewegen, Brompton Bike Hire, Stagecoach Bus, West Coast Motors, Inverness Taxis, ScotRail, Loganair, Shotl, Skedgo, Orkney Ferries and Northlink Ferries.

Related story: Hitrans makes bid for £381,000 for projects

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