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Future mobility and services

Greater Newcastle Future Transport Plan

Future mobility and services

In developing a world class transport system, there is an opportunity in Greater Newcastle to trial and integrate new mobility options and service models as described in the Future Transport Strategy.

New technologies for connected, automated and electric vehicles will improve public and private modes of transport and freight vehicles. An important step in automated vehicle technology was the 2017 NSW Government legislation enabling the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight to approve trials of automated vehicles. This gives us an opportunity to properly assess these vehicles’ ability to meet our policy outcomes of improving safety, boosting service frequencies and reducing congestion.

Personalised mobility devices, like e-bikes and motorised scooters, offer alternatives for short trips to city centres and work locations. These technologies can include assisted mobility devices that are appealing for older people or people with mobility constraints because they require less physical effort than walking or cycling and people can use them for longer trips and over more difficult terrain, even with a lower fitness level.

Ever expanding data sources and applications are enabling greater integration of services and new service models to be developed and adopted. The emergence of rideshare companies has already significantly changed the point-to-point market, with new online service providers emerging and being embraced by customers. The NSW Government’s point-to-point reforms made in 2017 have opened up the market for new transport services providers to meet demand.

The next wave of data-enabled transport service models, known as Mobility as a Service (MaaS), will enable customers to plan and pay for their journeys across different transport service providers via a single customer interface, such as a mobile phone app. MaaS relies on sharing real time information to help customers optimise their journeys through a single MaaS provider. It enables customers to plan and purchase their end-to-end journey from a retailer (most likely via an app) choosing from a range of travel options, such as travelling by public transport, rideshare or bike hire. In real time, the app then guides the customer through their journey.

Data exchanged between customers and service providers via a MaaS platform helps providers offer more personalised services and can also link customers to non-travel related products such as restaurant delivery, event ticketing and retail. As technology unlocks new mobility and service possibilities, customer data sharing presents an opportunity for customers to have unprecedented input into how transport services are delivered. One example is the emergence of on demand bus services currently being trialled in Greater Newcastle and other forms of shared transport that will allow customers to directly influence where their local services travel on a day-to-day basis.

The emergence of new service providers will result in customers having more choice than ever. However, it is important that the transport system also remains easy-to-understand. In high demand areas, frequent, high capacity corridors will be provided to move the majority of people. These will be complemented by more flexible or on demand services on local corridors.

Six principles for Future Transport

The Future Transport 2056 Strategy is focused on six key principles for the future of mobility in the state, which together aim to positively impact the economy, communities and environment of NSW.

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