There are more ways to get from A to B than with a car you bought yourself. Not that this automobile of yours would have to be scrapped immediately, but sometimes a combination of means of transport – alternating your car with a bus, train, scooter or bicycle, for example – is much more efficient. But then, of course, all these ‘modalities’ must be available at the right time. It is what transport organisations have come to call MaaS, Mobility as a Service: a technology-driven system that looks at movement primarily as a service rather than an end in itself.
There are more and more options within this service. Shared scooters, public transport bikes, car-sharing, it all can be traced back to the same concept. Just like TURNN, an app that employees of ASML, Brainport Development and the municipality of Eindhoven will soon be using to stimulate the alternatives to the car, make travelling easier and ultimately improve the accessibility of the Brainport Eindhoven region. The pilot in Eindhoven is one of the seven national MaaS pilots that the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment is setting up in collaboration with regional authorities. Other areas are Amsterdam-Zuidas, Utrecht-Leidsche Rijn, Vleuten and De Meern, Groningen-Drenthe, Limburg, Rotterdam-Den Haag and Twente. The pilot projects include testing what does and does not work in terms of travel behaviour, the business case and the policy impact. With the data obtained, those involved will learn how to optimise the entire mobility system. The idea is that this can contribute to solutions for CO2 targets, congestion problems and congestion in public transport.
On 28 November, the Municipality of Eindhoven, ASML and Brainport Development signed a cooperation agreement with the ICT Group, so that the trial can start. Participants can now use the app to plan, book and pay for their trips throughout the country. Through the employer’s approach, Brainport Smart Mobility will then work to encourage as many employers in the region as possible to participate and thus keep the region accessible in a smart and sustainable way.
Monique List, councillor of the municipality of Eindhoven, sees the need for such solutions because of the growth of her city. “With the success of our region come the challenges. We want the city to remain accessible and liveable at the same time. Choosing an alternative to the car contributes to this. With the MaaS pilot, we ensure that our own employees travel in a sustainable and smart way. In any case, the app can be used for business purposes, but it can also be used for private purposes.”
With the TURNN app, travellers can choose how they want to travel from door to door and receive information about all possible means of transport such as cars, cars, public transport, bicycles, taxis and combinations thereof. The app provides travellers with up-to-date and personal travel advice based on their personal preferences. It also provides an alternative route in case of delays, bad weather and traffic jams. Business trips are automatically invoiced. Dirk Grevink of ICT Group stresses that TURNN offers a real alternative to travelling by car. “On the platform, all available forms of transport are combined to create an optimal travel plan that is tailored to personal circumstances.”
Due to the economic growth and the densification of the Brainport Eindhoven region, the need for mobility is growing, while the space for it is decreasing. Grevink: “For the quality of life and accessibility of the region, it is important to be smarter about travelling. We need to see travel more as a service than as a choice of transport means. The MaaS pilot will make these services easily accessible to the traveller.”
“We need to see travel more as a service than as a choice for a transport means.”
Frits van Hout, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at ASML, says his company is currently committed to sustainable mobility. “Not only for the company and its employees but also for the region. With the impressive growth, the accessibility of Brainport Eindhoven is under pressure. Everyone in this region has an interest and a responsibility in this. MaaS will make an important contribution by helping thousands of ASML employees to make the right choice every day. ASML’s target is a reduction of 30 million car kilometres per year.”
It is the intention that the Eindhoven test will be expanded quickly. “There are already other employers and municipalities that want to participate,” says Tim Daniëls of Brainport Smart Mobility. “In the first quarter of 2020, we will start at the Municipality of Eindhoven and ASML. After the launch, we want to broaden the scope of the service. The aim is for the entire region to benefit as soon as possible from the deployment of MaaS.”