With the launch of the Gaiyo travel app in the Utrecht neighborhoods of Leidsche Rijn and Vleuten-De Meern, the first 'mobility as a service' pilot (MaaS) in the Netherlands starts today. Via the app, users can see which (partial) transport options they have in their area and they can plan, book and pay for all trips.

Gaiyo is a personal travel assistant and provides a real-time overview of all available travel options and combinations, complete with departure and arrival times, travel time and costs. This varies from the train, tram and bus to shared transport (such as bicycle sharing, electric scooter or car). The app also shows the available times of the connecting public transport. Finally, the app shows the travel time by car, traffic jams and parking costs. In this way, the user can always see for himself which transport is faster or cheaper at what time.

For the pilot, a conscious decision was made to start in the Leidsche Rijn and Vleuten-De Meern districts, because this area is growing fast and car ownership and use is relatively high here. By 2030, another 105.000 inhabitants will be added. This has consequences for the quality of life and accessibility of this part of Utrecht. 

“With this app, people can easily choose how they want to travel. We hope that this will make them opt more often for something other than the car, such as bicycle and public transport. That helps to keep the city liveable and accessible, ”says Lot van Hooijdonk, alderman for Mobility.

The travel app links different forms of transport together, so that people only have to register once and can pay for all transport via the app. “Our mission is to keep cities liveable and accessible for everyone,” says CEO and founder Lucien Groenhuijzen of app developer Innovactory. “Great that we can be the first to offer this app to the residents of Leidsche Rijn and Vleuten-De Meern. We expect from our experiences with the first tests that the people in this part of Utrecht will experience the added value of the Gaiyo ”.

Gaiyo comes from Gaiyō - which means overview in Japanese - and was previously tested by 150 users, then under the old name Tripps. It showed that thanks to the app, people are more inclined to leave the car at home and opt for alternative forms of transport, because these are faster or cheaper. 

“Gaiyo thus fits seamlessly into our Smart Mobility program. We like to use smart developments to promote healthier, cleaner and safer travel within the province of Utrecht ”, says Arne Schaddelee, deputy for mobility in the province of Utrecht.

part of seven national pilots

Gaiyo is the first of seven Mobility as a Service (MaaS) pilots to go live. The Utrecht trial with the digital travel assistant is expected to run until the end of 2021. From now on, the app can be downloaded throughout the Netherlands via the App Store and Google Play. The trial in Utrecht and the other trials in the rest of the country are an initiative of the government to investigate, together with market parties, whether mobility services appeal to users, are commercially viable and contribute to policy. 

The data obtained from the privacy-proof data enables the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, regional authorities, MaaS providers and transporters to learn together how the total mobility system can be optimized. This can contribute to the quality of life in our living environment, for example by reducing CO2, traffic jams and busy public transport. In Utrecht, the pilot is part of the program of Well on your way, in which the province, the municipalities of Utrecht and Amersfoort, Rijkswaterstaat and the ministry work together on good accessibility and a healthy living and working environment in the region.

Read also: Is MaaS going back to the drawing board after the corona crisis?

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