New journey planning app launched

A new smartphone app was today launched which will help people better plan and price their journeys around Aberdeen and encourage more walking or cycling.

The journey planner app is called GoAbz and is available to download for free from the Apple App Store and GooglePlay.

The app has been developed by Aberdeen City Council with full funding as part of the European Union Civitas Portis project. It includes information on journey times and costs by vehicle, and offers alternative suggestions by cycling, walking, or by bus or train.

Aberdeen City Council transport spokesperson Councillor Sandra Macdonald said: “The GoAbz app is an innovative way to help plan your journey around Aberdeen with useful information on journey times and costs.

“It also provides information on alternatives to driving including cycling, walking and using public transport which we’d encourage people to use where they can and particularly for short journeys.”

Local residents helped design the app, enhancing the functionality, look, and feel to create two beta versions, with a final version now ready for launch. Beta testing has been undertaken with a subset of co-design participants and other stakeholders.

The first local engagement session was held in March (2020) with four research workshops aimed at user groups - drivers, students, people age 60+ and cyclists.

Work on versions of the app was further carried out with a range of students (young carers, college and university students), those age 60+ (including sheltered housing residents, those with visible and invisible disabilities, those without smart phone or internet), drivers (from people who drive out of necessity, such as for employment, to those whose default transport preference is the car), and active travellers (from confident, experienced cyclists to inexperienced, unconfident cyclists, those with young children who often walk with a pram).

The final version was then built and tested to include a wide variety of people’s individual journey planning needs. Further developments will enhance the journey planner over the coming months.

The Civitas Portis project asked to find solutions with innovative approaches for sustainable urban mobility and social and functional connections between city centres and ports using, for example, digital technologies. The information gathered during the various Civitas Portis schemes will improve information for residents as well access to new services either already available or to be invented.

Civitas Portis aims to make a positive impact on five European port cities - Aberdeen, Trieste, Antwerp in Belgium, Constance in Romania, and Klaipeda in Lithuania.

The project also examined transport solutions with a connection with port operations, supporting sustainable urban mobility through changes in behaviour and the attitudes of citizens, planners, politicians and industries. It was also aimed at helping to address social inclusion and provide opportunities for economic growth.

The partners for the Aberdeen project also include Aberdeenshire Council, Nestrans, The Robert Gordon University, the University of Aberdeen, and Aberdeen Harbour Board.

Civitas Portis has received 100% funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, and it started on 11 September 2016 and finishes on 30 November 2020.