Features
30 juil 19

Calculating the fastest, cheapest and greenest multi-modal route plans

A Canada-based mobility-as-a-service app has extended its reach across 62 cities in North America, allowing travellers to plan their journeys based on each trip’s time, cost and environmental impact.

The Cowlines app launched in Vancouver last year with the objective to make peoples’ lives easier and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. After a successful pilot, it has rolled out across major cities, including New York, Low Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto.

The free app analyses all possible modes of transport in real time, taking into account traffic conditions, in its journey-planning calculations. Different modes of transport are then integrated into a route plan that presents users a choice of the fastest, cheapest or greenest route. The app does not, however, offer a ticket purchasing facility.

The smart software quantifies the greenhouse gas emissions of each journey, in a bid to encourage more sustainable forms of travel, such as public transport, ride hailing, bike sharing, car sharing and taxis, and to discourage private car use.

The optimal path
Jonathan Whitworth, co-owner and Chief Strategy Officer of Greenlines Technology, the company behind Cowlines, said: “Today’s urban mobility landscape is extremely complex with a gamut of mobility options that did not exist a decade ago. Traffic congestion is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in cities, and integrated mobility is the future of clean and efficient transportation.

The company’s name derives from the term ‘cowlines’ or ‘cowpaths’ used by city planners to design the optimal paths in places such as parks, mimicking the behaviour of cows when they roam across an open field.

Greg Moore, former Chair of Metro Vancouver, said: “Municipal governments are aligning their policies towards the common goal of increasing the livability of city life and fighting climate change. We are seeing innovative mobility-as-a-service technologies transform the way people approach mobility and how they move around the cities.”

Cowlines said cities around the world, from Jakarta to New Delhi have expressed interest in deploying the app as soon as possible. Currently Cowlines is only available for Apple iOS devices. www.cowlines.com

Picture copyright: Cowlines

 

Authored by: Jonathan Manning