Pioneering Go-Hi transport accessibility app to be piloted in the Highlands and Islands

Go-Hi Project Manager Marelise Hamar using the app at Forres Railway Station
Go-Hi Project Manager Marelise Hamar using the app at Forres Railway Station

The Highlands and Islands are to lead the way in trialling a new app which will make it easier for residents and tourists to access the information they need to make greater use of public transport and car sharing and to decide when cycling is an option.

HITRANS, the regional transport partnership, has commissioned a leading technology firm to produce the bespoke Go-Hi branded app, which will provide instant access to information on buses, trains, car hire, car clubs, bicycle hire, taxis, air travel and ferries. This will allow users to plan their journeys and find, book and pay for all modes of transport using any iPhone or Android mobile device.

Go-Hi is powered by FOD Mobility Group’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.

The pilot project is due to go live in June 2021. It is being funded by the EU North Sea Region Stronger Combined project and the Scottish Government’s MaaS Investment Fund. The MaaS Investment Fund has been established by Transport Scotland to improve accessibility to public transport services for residents and tourists in the country’s most rural and sparsely populated region.

Ranald Robertson, Director at HITRANS, said: “This pioneering project 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.”

HITRANS has appointed Marelise Hamar to lead the Maas Project. Marelise joined HITRANS in May after making the move to the Highlands from the South East of England. She brings experience from the Aerospace, Automotive and Security Printing industries where she has held numerous project-based roles.

She said: “I am very excited to be part of this project using groundbreaking technology which will bring a real benefit to residents and visitors across the Highlands and Islands.”

Ross Basnett, Strategic Account Director at FOD Mobility Group, said: “We’re looking forward to working with HITRANS to tailor a solution that addresses the mobility challenges faced by residents and tourists in one of Scotland’s most rural and sparsely populated areas. The Go-Hi app will bring together the various transport services in the area, allowing easier access to travel information, more reliable journey planning, in-app ticketing and a hassle-free payment system. These improvements should give people the confidence to use public transport and reduce the feeling of isolation among those without access to a car.”

The HITRANS project engages the underlying Mobilleo platform with several new transport partners, as well as those existing on the platform today. Project partners include Enterprise Car Club and Car Hire, Bewegen, Brompton Bike Hire, Stagecoach Bus, Shotl, West Coast Motors, Inverness Taxis, ScotRail, Loganair, Orkney Ferries, Northlink Ferries, Leeds Institute for Transport Studies and SkedGo.

Oz Choudhri, Head of MaaS at Enterprise Holdings, added: “This project will support the delivery of Transport Scotland’s National Transport Strategy, which recognises the importance of embracing new technologies that are beneficial to society. The project will help Scotland to become an international leader in Smart Mobility by supporting digital innovation within Scotland and offering good practice in the application of MaaS for other similar regions.”

FOD Mobility Group is also providing dedicated customer support alongside the Go-Hi app, marketing support services to engage with end users and a data platform that offers instant access to detailed management reporting information.

The participating transport providers will be able to access data about the demand for their services, helping them to better understand the needs of people in the region and to make more informed decisions about the provision of services. The post-project analysis will ultimately lead to a better public transport service for residents and visitors to the HITRANS region.