The Highlands and Islands is pioneering a ground-breaking phone app which makes it easier to plan, book and pay for travel.
The region is leading the way in Scotland with the launch today of the GO-HI app.
It provides instant access to information on buses, trains, taxis, car hire, car clubs, bicycle hire, air travel and ferries.
It allows users to plan their journeys for all modes of transport using any iPhone or Android mobile device.
The one-stop app also help travellers make greater use of public transport, car sharing and cycling.
App provides easy travel information access
In addition, it provides information on locations for food and drink, cash machines and electric vehicle charging points.
GO-HI has been developed by Hitrans, the regional transport partnership, with technology firm Fleetondemand using the Mobilleo Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform.
It is funded by the EU North Sea Region Stronger Combined project and the Scottish Government’s MaaS Investment Fund, set up to test the concept of MaaS in Scotland.
This aims to provide people with easy access to travel information and encourage a shift to public transport and active travel alternatives.
Transport minister Graeme Dey said: “The Scottish Government sees great potential in the future of MaaS and a real opportunity for Scotland to be at the forefront of developments.
“That’s why in 2018, our programme for government committed to establish the MaaS investment fund.
“Much has changed since 2018. But as we think about the urgent need for a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, the potential of MaaS solutions in Scottish transport is perhaps more important than ever before.
‘This is an ambitious region-wide solution’
“By creating new partnerships between the public and private sectors to focus on collaborative solutions to complex transport problems, I’m excited to see how Go-Hi transforms the travel experience for residents and visitors to the Highlands and Islands.”
Highland councillor and Hitrans chairman Allan Henderson added: “[The app] is an ambitious region-wide solution that has the potential to make a significant contribution to improve accessibility for residents and visitors.
“It also addresses government ambitions to reduce carbon emissions by encouraging a modal shift from sole-occupancy cars to shared cars and public transport alternatives.
“It will also help to create healthier lifestyles by improving the sustainable travel choices people can make in the region including active travel opportunities.”
Ross Basnett, strategic account director at Fleetondemand, said it has worked with Hitrans to find a solution that addresses mobility challenges in one of Scotland’s most rural and sparsely populated areas.
“The GO-HI app brings together the various transport services in the area, allowing easier access to travel information, more reliable journey planning, in-app ticketing and a hassle-free payment system.
“These improvements should give people the confidence to use public transport and reduce the feeling of isolation among those without access to a car.”
The project will help Scotland become an international leader in smart mobility.”
Partners in the project also include Enterprise Car Club.
Oz Choudhri, head of MaaS at Enterprise, said GO-HI offers a blueprint for other regions.
“The project will help Scotland to become an international leader in smart mobility by supporting digital innovation within Scotland and offering good practice in the application of MaaS for other similar regions.”
Earlier this year, Hitrans began an app-enabled, door-to-door transport service providing travel to locations across Argyll and Bute not served by bus.