Derby to lead the way in green travel trial

Published: 20 September 2021

derby go app logo and phone mock up.

DerbyGo (by Kinto) is the largest and most ambitious Mobility as a Service (MaaS) scheme yet to be introduced in the UK.

Derby City Council has today formally announced a partnership with Kinto, Toyota’s mobility brand, the University of Derby, and Derby College to launch, what is believed to be, the biggest trial of green travel mobility in Europe.

At the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 8 September, approval was given for Toyota to start the roll-out of DerbyGo (by Kinto), the largest and most ambitious Mobility as a Service (MaaS) scheme yet to be introduced in the UK.

Using £500,000 funding from the Government’s ‘Future Transport Zone’ scheme, following a successful bid with Nottingham City Council, the platform will be trialled in Derby for at least 18-months and will initially target around 10,000 students at the University of Derby and Derby College, allowing them to access a wide range of transport options to plan their travel, using new technologies on their smart phone.

The plan will initially focus on rail and bus services and it is hoped that it will eventually be expanded to cover a much larger transport network with a simple mobile phone payment system to tap in and out of journeys. As a ‘live lab’, the trial will be constantly refined for ease-of-use and functionality, with further transport services, such as taxis, ride-sharing cars, electric scooters and other bus operators, being added to enable more efficient, connected journey planning.

This will also be the first MaaS platform to integrate transport accessibility information for people with mobility impairments. The app will provide a direct link to Sociability, a UK start-up business which collects, maintains and shares detailed, reliable and accurate accessibility information.

Over the trial period the data generated will allow the partners to monitor travel trends to focus resources where they are needed, whilst also providing information on car use and each user’s carbon footprint with the aim of encouraging more car sharing or making other greener travel decisions.

Toyota launched Kinto in January 2020 as ‘a new brand dedicated to offering mobility services to users across Europe. Kinto forms part of Toyota’s global vision to evolve into a mobility company by providing all kinds of transportation-related services to people around the world.’

Cllr Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council, said:

This is a tremendously exciting project for the city and I’m delighted that we have been able to pull this together with Toyota, Kinto, the University and College. 

DerbyGo will change the way people travel around the city, encouraging and allowing more flexible and efficient journeys, which will contribute to creating a greener environment.

Professor Chris Bussell, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Derby, and Chair of the Derby Climate Change Commission, said:

We are delighted to be working with Derby City Council, Toyota and Kinto on this exciting pilot project.

Our students will be trialling the DerbyGo App as they travel around our city and the data their journeys generate will help us to understand how traffic flow and mobility can be enhanced, better planned and integrated, to improve the quality of life for all of us who live and work here.

Working with Toyota UK, Kinto and Derby City Council enables us to create a ‘living-lab’, researching and refining how the DerbyGo app works in a real-world setting to connect users with our sites, the city centre and its other transport hubs. It also complements our new Sustainable Travel Plan, which encourages our staff, students and visitors to make positive choices about using sustainable transport for their journeys to and from our sites.

Derby College Group (DCG) Facilities and Site Services manager Tom Kelsall said:

As part of DCG’s robust carbon action plan we very much welcome the opportunity for our staff and students to be involved in this exciting new programme.” 

Richard Balshaw, Kinto UK Group Vice President, said: “Today is an exciting first step in helping deliver better mobility for all. With the enthusiasm and vision of Derby City Council, University of Derby and Derby College, we are able to launch DerbyGo (by Kinto) and develop a wealth of mobility services to encourage and enable easier and more efficient journeys. Constant monitoring of performance will help plan better transport and parking provisions, bringing associated benefits of better traffic flow and less vehicle pollution.

This project is part of Derby and Nottingham’s Future Transport Zone programme. Working in partnership, Nottingham City and Derby City Councils secured £16.7 million from the Department for Transport to invest in innovative solutions to improve public transport connectivity and encourage sustainable travel.

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