STS - Smarter Travel Solution

The Smarter Travel Solution app integrates sustainable transport services to offer users a “One screen journey” - How will this impact mobility?

Whether journey planning, train booking or contactless payment of a bus ticket- the mobile phone is playing an increasing role to meet users’ travel needs. However, most solutions work just for one mode or company, do not provide in-journey updates or allow payment for the travel service. The Smarter Travel Solution (STS) uses mobile phone technology to bring the entire management and completion of a journey under one umbrella, supporting and engaging with the user from first thought through to arrival in a “one screen journey”.

By encouraging users to access journey information in a combination of public, shared and active transport modes as one portfolio service, can we shift user perception shift so that sustainable modes become more attractive and fewer car trips are necessary, leading to less congestion and cleaner cities?

Aims and objectives

The aim of the STS project is to develop an online, map-based, multi-modal journey planner that incorporates real-time travel and disruption information. It will also provide the option to book and pay for tickets and provide feedback on the journey. Using digital mobile/internet technology, STS supports the use and combination of bus, rail, walking, cycling, taxi and car club. The objective during the project duration is to develop a proof of concept of the service for West Yorkshire, with a view to rolling out the solution in other towns and cities over the coming years.

The project is funded by Innovate UK, co-ordinated by Telefónica UK and carried out together with C3UK, FirstGroup, the University of Leeds, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Leeds City Council, Ove Arup & Partners, City Car Club, Forum for the Future and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.

The Institute for Transport Studies will provide expert support throughout the development of the app, though the primary focus will be on the Impact Tracking work package. Our aim is to investigate how the STS system will impact urban travel and mobility (including connectivity, journey time, costs, social and environmental impacts etc.) for all, in particular, vulnerable groups using both empirical and modelling techniques to be able to establish both the impacts on individuals and upon transport systems.

Budget (ITS portion): £224,392

Publications and outputs

The outputs of the different parts of the work carried out by the Institute for Transport Studies are:

  • Establishment of an indicator based impact evaluation framework for the measurement of impacts
  • In-depth analysis of potential opportunities and barriers towards the use of smarter travel solutions through focus groups and/or interviews on customer needs, beliefs, attitudes and mobility behaviours by user type
  • Development of dynamic diffusion models for the STS app
  • Model based evaluation of impacts of STS use from selected diffusion scenarios on the transport system, i.e. on changes in car trips, bus use, walking and cycling, as well as economic (time savings, costs, connectivity), social and environmental factors