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Mobility as a Service Universal App

A universal app powered by blockchain and location technology that enables the public to find transportation available to them in real-time.

Photo of Barrett Wakefield
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Congestion in large and growing cities is a major issue and finding all available transportation is not as easy as it could be. In addition, the growing of number alternative forms make this even more complex. The universal app would start as a near real-time ledger for all public and commercially available transportation. This would include help with rented bike/scooter fleets, help coordinate ride sharing, and provide critical data to the public. This same system could also facilitate payments making alternate transportation even easier for the public. Purchase and storage of digital tickets will replace outdated processes. Incentives (when needed) could be provided by city to move more to alternate transportation before congestion starts. The system could also help to facilitate maintenance of city fleets and crowd-sourced location data could act as a feedback loop to improve efficiency. The MaaS app will use blockchain technology at the core to keep all data private, secure and immutable. This app will be most effective if deployed at city/state level. We think a single source solution is a win win for the public which would help make alternate transportation more of a mainstream and the businesses that provide public transportation as they see their business increase.

How will your solution benefit residents, workers, or visitors in the Michigan Central Station impact area? (1,000 characters)

Anyone with a smartphone can take advantage of this service. Signs around the area and possibly some advertising will help promote the app. Once installed and opened, the app will determine location and point out all modes of transportation available to them at that location. After option selected, provide simple route planning (point a to point b), schedules, availability, announcements, incentives and more. The idea is to create a super simple user interface with multi-language support that anyone can use. All public transportation options will be available. A QR code will be their ticket which can be paid in the app for convenience or could top up at kiosk with cash/card. Ride sharing services if selected would be dispatched immediately based on location. All forms of transportation would eventually be tied in this one app and available for everyone to use. Simple and convenient is important, but integration of all modes of transportation is what makes it unique and useful.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

A small team will be dedicated to this project. Our company focuses on technology solutions for commercial fleet/asset tracking, compliance and safety. Our website for more information: www.thinair.co

Size of your team or organization

  • 11-50

Team or Organization URL

www.thinair.co

Are you submitting as a student team?

  • No

Are you submitting as a team from the Impact Area?

  • No

Funding Request

  • $250,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

Requirements/Planning/Architecture - 100,000 Development - 75,000 Pilot/Testing - 50,000 Rollout - 25,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

We would start with maybe one or two modes of transport (buses/trains) and a kiosk with a select group to test end-to-end. Once successful and fully tested, make the app available iOS/Android. Update the app to add additional modes of transport and functionality.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Monthly users/activity within the app can easily be measured and direct ridership from the app can be measured with QR Code readers.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

The cost savings of replacing outdated systems, insights gained from crowd-sourced information, and efficiency alone could likely sustain this app. All forms of transport could contribute a small amount (including ride share who would benefit) to keep everything moving forward.

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Photo of Mackenzie Fankell
Team

Barrett Wakefield Thank you for your proposal! I am a Michigan Central Station Challenge facilitator. I think that Detroit could definitely benefit from a system like this. A lot of our community members have shared that all of the forms of public transportation are very difficult to navigate in Detroit. How do you think that you would implement your app in our Impact Area around Michigan Central Station in the pilot? What modes of transportation would you start with? Also, I'm wondering what percentage of the population in this area has access to a smartphone/data plan. Would there be a solution to community members that don't have a smartphone? Look forward to hearing more!