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Building a Mobility Marketplace

Imagine being able to travel anywhere in New Zealand, on any mode of transport, and pay for it all in one place on your phone. Find out where we are on our journey to make this an everyday reality.

New technologies and transport modes are providing customers with more choice. To help meet these new transport demands, customers are looking for a better way to view and choose any transport option. By comparing all of the available options, customers can make the best decision for them, everytime, in real-time.

The first step to achieving this is to create a single place for all transport providers to offer their services – a mobility marketplace.

Making better choices

Customers want live information about their transport choices – a static bus timetable no longer meets the needs of customers looking for up-to-date, dynamic information. To make decisions about their best options, customers are looking for a real-time reflection of what’s happening across the whole network, and expect to be able to personalise this to their needs. However, what is currently found is siloed transport information, so a customer has to check multiple sources to visualise all their options.

This makes it impossible for customers, operators, providers, and regulators to understand the full transport environment and make informed decisions.

There are more transport modes and options than ever before – but we have no ‘one stop shop’ to help people make choices.

The Transport Agency set out to put everything you need in one place. Whether booking a taxi or water taxi, catching the bus, jumping on a train or sorting out a rideshare, what if there was a digital offering that helps people choose, plan and get to where they want to go?

Meet the Mobility Marketplace

Choice mobile app

Choice makes it easy to view, book and track your transport options.

The Mobility Marketplace is powered by a real-time data processing platform. This platform is stateless, meaning it does not store data from each interaction. As the platform is not slowed down by storing large amounts of data, it can process all of New Zealand’s transport data, as it happens and in real-time.

Using this platform as the backbone, the Transport Agency has created the world’s first open Mobility Marketplace. NZ’s Mobility Marketplace is a global first, as it is the first time a government has provided the digital transport infrastructure needed to connect services and customers, and opened it up to all compliant transport providers.

Through strong partnerships and using open data principles we have brought buses, trains, boats, taxis, shuttles and rideshare together into the Mobility Marketplace. “We wanted to help connect people to their best transport options in a cost-effective way,” says Martin McMullan, Director Connected Journey Solutions. “And at the same time ensure that it’s a fair marketplace, where everyone can participate.”

Real-time transport apps

To demonstrate the potential of this exciting technology, the Transport Agency developed two real-time apps, Choice (Queenstown) and RideMate (Auckland). These two proof-of-concept apps have demonstrated the value of the Mobility Marketplace, with data and user feedback informing decisions on new features and updates.

“The time spent talking to people in Auckland and Queenstown also drove the decision to make the service multi-lingual,” says McMullan of the apps that are available in English, German, Japanese, Mandarin and Te Reo Māori.

Proving the value and scaling up

The Queenstown and Auckland pilot apps showed the need for a single marketplace across New Zealand. Between Choice and RideMate, 20,000 people downloaded these apps in the pilot's first year. Over 15 private transport providers joined the pilots, with many more awaiting the roll-out of a national offering.

Following the successes and learnings of the pilot programme, the Transport Agency is now focusing on a national solution. The real-time platform used for the national roll-out has been completely developed and built in-house at the Transport Agency.

Get in touch

If you are interested in joining the Mobility Marketplace as a provider, please get in touch via mobility.marketplace@nzta.govt.nz

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