Smart roll-out in Antwerp
With the Smart ways to Antwerp project, the City on the Scheldt already has an advanced platform via which it can notify its users about traffic situations and guide them to and through the city as smartly as possible. TMaaS was able to fill some of the things missing in the system, which meant that they were more than happy to take advantage of the potential opportunities that our platform offered them as a Replicator City. Stijn Vernaillen, MaaS expert, outlined the background of their collaborative venture.
Learning and experimenting
In addition to the product itself, Stijn Vernaillen saw a number of other reasons for joining the collaborative venture. “We always find it interesting to exchange information and knowledge with other cities,” he said. “There is always something for us to learn from the way other cities approach their traffic situations. In that respect it was also interesting to discover the approaches of the two other TMaaS Replicator Cities, especially Southwark, because the characteristics of that district are more similar to our own than those of Duran. This also offers us the opportunity to experiment with our own platform, which is now very well established. This combination of learning and experimenting via the collaborative ventures makes it all worthwhile for us. In addition, the company that developed our route planner, namely Be-Mobile, is also a TMaaS partner. That meant that we didn’t need to think long before taking the plunge especially when you think of the technical advantages of working on the project with the same company. If TMaaS worked with Google Street Maps, for example, you would get a completely different story, which in practice, is much more complex.”
Communications = key
With the Smart ways to Antwerp project, communications form an important element in the mobility service. “If TMaaS can help us with our communications to the users, we welcome that,” says Stijn Vernaillen. “People often don’t know that there is a tram stop around the corner and that this tram will get them to their destination twice as fast as if they travelled there by car. Or they are not aware that there is somewhere to leave their bike just one street away. It is important to ensure that there is sufficient publicity for the project. One example I will quote is a trial offer that encourages people to find alternative ways of travelling and leave their cars at home. We help business leaders for instance to promote alternative modes of transport among their employees, so that they are discouraged from travelling to work by car.”