Kinto, Toyota’s mobility brand, has launched a major new app-based service that will help people plan and make integrated journeys, saving time, reducing their environmental impact and helping transport planners design more effective future strategies.
DerbyGo (by Kinto) is the largest and most ambitious Mobility as a Service (MaaS) scheme yet to be introduced in the UK. Produced in partnership with Derby City Council, University of Derby, Derby College and technology partner FOD Mobility Group, it will give thousands of local people easy and immediate access to journey planning, booking and payment via a single app on their smartphone.
The project has been developed as part of Derby’s Future Transport Zone programme, supported with around £500,000 of Government funding. Toyota – and its Kinto operations – entered into a collaboration arrangement with the council to support its future mobility programme in March this year.
Initially operating as an 18-month trial, DerbyGo (by Kinto) is being rolled out first to students and staff at University of Derby and Derby College. At launch, the app will offer a basic level of capability, serving as a research and development element of Derby’s live lab approach to its Future Transport Zone. As the wider concept evolves, DerbyGo will integrate a growing number of mobility features and capabilities to enhance travel in and around Derby, with users helping test, inform and optimise its potential.
The launch of DerbyGo this week coincides with the arrival of around 10,000 new students on campus, together with thousands more moving to the city for the first time, following a year of remote studies due to the pandemic. They are seen as ideal first adopters for the service, with many likely to be familiar with using apps for travel services, maximising the potential early uptake.
Initially the app will focus on the rail and bus services serving Derby and the university and college sites, providing real-time route information, ticket booking and payment. As a live lab, the trial will be constantly refined for ease-of-use and functionality, with further transport services, such as taxis and other bus operators, being added to enable more efficient, connected journey planning.
This will also be the first MaaS platform to integrate transport accessibility information for people with special mobility needs. The app will provide a direct link to Sociability, a UK startup business which collects, maintains and shares detailed, reliable and accurate accessibility information for local venues. DerbyGo users will be able to research the accessibility features of their destination at the same time as ensuring that their transport mode of choice is equally accessible – all within the DerbyGo app.
Growth in user numbers and the range of services available will help reduce the number of car journeys being made, easing congestion, improving air quality and reduce the city’s carbon emissions.
Key developments targeted for the app’s evolution include monitoring parking availability and potentially introducing pre-booking priority for cars with more than one person on board, encouraging the uptake of car sharing. The app will also allow digital parking management and the introduction of electronic payment.
The future roadmap will also look at access to car sharing and access to rental cars at specific locations. Micro-mobility services, such as e-bike schemes are also planned for integration within the app, as early as Spring 2022.
Throughout the 18-month pilot, performance will be monitored, allowing changes and improvements to be made promptly and effectively.
Richard Balshaw, Kinto UK Group Vice President, said, “Today is an exciting first step in helping deliver better mobility for all. With the enthusiasm and vision of Derby City Council, University of Derby and Derby College, we are able to launch DerbyGo (by Kinto) and develop a wealth of mobility services to encourage and enable easier and more efficient journeys. Constant monitoring of performance will help plan better transport and parking provisions, bringing associated benefits of better traffic flow and less vehicle pollution.”
Professor Chris Bussell, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at University of Derby, and Chair of the Derby Climate Change Commission commented, “I am delighted that the university is collaborating with Toyota UK, Kinto and Derby City Council to run this pilot of the DerbyGo app with our students.
“This is an exciting and evolving technological aid to achieve the goals we hold in common with our partners to move towards cleaner, greener mobility around our city, reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality and wellbeing for the local population.