In 2018 the City of Amsterdam, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and Amsterdam Transport Authority issued a joint tender for Mobility as a Service (MaaS). They awarded the contract in July 2019 to a consisting of Over Morgen, Amber, Radiuz and Transdev. Teaming up with stakeholders in the Amsterdam metro region, the consortium developed Amaze, a service that will be launched in Zuidas. With the partnership between the City, employers and Amaze having officially kicked off, we caught up with Finn van Leeuwen and Isabelle van den Bouwhuijsen of the Zuidas Amsterdam Development Office and Edvard Hedriksen of Over Morgen.
MaaS stands for Mobility as a Service. Think of it, says Finn, ‘like a digital guardian angel that takes the hassle out of every journey – sort of like Google Maps. This allows you to book and pay for journeys too, knows your preferences, factors in the types of transport you use, such as car or bike, and even advises you on the most efficient combination of mobility options.’ Isabelle adds, ‘MaaS does for mobility what Spotify and Netflix did for music and television, which is to help people transition from ownership to usership. Why own a car if it costs less to have one at your disposal that’s suited to your immediate needs and comes without all the drawbacks of owning a car, like parking permits, maintenance and repairs?’
The project’s objective of launching MaaS in Zuidas is meant to give commuters a better way to customize their journey to and from Zuidas. ‘The service has to work throughout the Netherlands for business and leisure travel alike’, says Edvard. ‘We want to score as high as we can with users. Essentially, the goal is for this service to make shared mobility, bikes and public transport a serious alternative to cars. We’re offering people an alternative to traffic jams, while also helping to keep Zuidas and the rest of Amsterdam liveable and attractive, in a way that’s environmentally sustainable over the long term. With pressures on the living environment and accessibility mounting, so are calls for a modal shift in traffic and transport. Roadways in and around Zuidas experience massive congestion on a daily basis, but residents and workers in Zuidas can solve this problem by changing their own attitude towards mobility. This is where Amaze comes in, by making alternatives to the car more attractive.’
The first version of the app will be available to download in the App Store and Play Store in May 2020. It gives instant access to many more mobility providers. Edvard: ‘Step by step, we will upscale the service in terms of functionalities. In the end, our goal is that users can get active daily journey advice that takes account of personal preferences and limitations. If you usually drive but there are traffic jams, you’ll get recommendations ahead of time on better travel options. If you’re already on your way, you might be advised to head for a Park+Ride. Or, if the forecast is sunny and your calendar allows, the app may recommend grabbing your bike instead of the metro.’ ￼App development will continue over the coming months, including a pilot with test users. It will be available to download from the App Store and Play Store as from 1 May 2020. Further refinements will continue in the subseque two years in coordination with employers and users.