Transport operator Arriva has added a completely new brand in the form of a smart mobility App to its public transport offering in Europe with the launch of a travel platform designed to connect passengers to multiple modes and operators of public transport, shared transport or micro-mobility in the Netherlands.
Named “glimble”, it is Arriva’s first MaaS (Mobility as a Service) solution in Europe. The company says MaaS provides a passenger-centred approach to mobility, enhancing the passenger experience by making it easier to combine different modes when planning, booking and paying for a journey. Arriva has developed the App in partnership with the leading journey planning technology provider Moovit, and with the potential for a wider roll-out in other parts of Europe, where data sharing agreements and systems exist.
The development of “glimble by arriva” came after Arriva Netherlands was awarded two pilot projects by the local authorities in the Netherlands to trial MaaS solutions. Seven pilot projects in total were awarded.. Arriva was the only public transport company to be awarded pilots because of its strong reputation in serving the Dutch market – and so began its App development journey.
During the pandemic a number of European cities invested in new infrastructure to encourage cycling or walking, and some have introduced e-scooter trials. These initiatives have provided greater modal flexibility for people to move across cities. The glimble solution brings all these options together and allows Arriva to look beyond its own operations and provide integrated, multimodal journeys.
Anne Hettinga, Arriva Group Board Member and Managing Director of the Netherlands, said, “With this platform, we are set to become a leading mobility provider. In a world where everyone is constantly on the move and connection and accessibility is essential, we need to be adaptable and nimble. Our glimble brand has started its Arriva journey in the Netherlands, but we know it has pan-European appeal – and potential – and we are starting to explore this in countries where the necessary data sharing agreements exist.”
Arriva says working with Moovit means it can launch “with confidence in partnership with a technology provider with proven success”. It adds the functionality also incorporates accessibility features, such as screen reading features for low vision users, talkback and voiceover capabilities. The App also identifies wheelchair-accessible routes and stations, while also calculating step-free journeys. For those with hand-motor disabilities, glimble is designed with optimised menus and buttons.
Other functionality due to be added to the App includes parking locations and a search capability for electric car charging points.
Several mobility providers can be found in the app for a number of different modes including shared car hire, demand responsive transport, (e-) scooters, (e-) taxis, tram, rail, ferry, bus and (e-) bicycles. Arriva expects to add more and more carriers to glimble in the coming months and plans to expand to include Belgium and parts of Germany, from the Netherlands, to make cross-border journey planning and payment more efficient.