Rotterdam-based Flytz, a startup born from a social initiative for and by students, has announced the launch of a pilot to test a new Mobility-as-a-Service app for students. The initiative has been launched with partner Moves, the local municipality of Rotterdam (Gemeente Rotterdam) and Zuid-Holland Bereikbaar, a government website that provides all information and services.
What to expect from this initiative?
According to a statement from Flytz, students have been using the same travel facility to travel through the public transport issued by the Dutch government for over 30 years. The founders of Flytz, Renske Wytzes, Daan Peeters and Joost Wilmink, are looking to change this.
They believe that as mobility in urban cities has changed rapidly over the past few years, shared mobility services such as shared bikes and e-mopeds are becoming immensely popular amongst students. With Flytz, the aim is to provide a Mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) platform which can help students plan, book and pay for any form of sustainable mobility.
Currently, 300 students from Rotterdam are going to test the new travel facility for a period of 3 months. During this time, participants will not use the Dutch travelling card (“OV-Chipkaart”), but a Mobility-as-a-Service app, through which they can travel with both public transport and shared mobility services.
Green and livable cities
This addition of mobility services to the Dutch travel facility has various benefits, says Flytz. It contributes to creating sustainable cities in which the residents have more freedom of movement.
Co-founder Joost Wilmink says, “Various studies from, amongst others the Technical University of Delft, show that the more extensive the supply of mobility services is, the higher the likelihood that someone will leave their private car behind. If students are given the opportunity to use a product that fits their mobility demand as a whole, they can fully explore the benefits of shared mobility. This can lead them to delay the purchase of a first private car after their studies.”
He adds, “We’re researching the changes in travelling behaviour for students and the effect this change has on their travel experience as a whole when trying and figuring out how to use their personal travel budget in the best way possible.”
The Dutch are already experimenting at a large scale with Mobility-as-a-Service through pilots supported by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. The country’s 700,000 students form an important customer group, as this group embraces ‘innovation’ and uses public transport as its primary form of travel. More than 4,000 interested students have already registered for the 300 available places in the pilot of Flytz.
About Flytz, Moves, Zuid-Holland Bereikbaar
Founded in 2021, Flytz is a startup that optimises the travel experience of students by bringing together the supply and demand of mobility. The startup is a former participant of Mobility Lab, a programme that guides ‘innovative’ startups in the mobility sector in the Netherlands.
Moves launched their Mobility-as-a-Serivce app in June, 2021. Through the app, users can plan, book, and pay for every part of their route with trains, busses, metros, trams, taxis, as well as shared vehicles such as bikes, e-mopeds and cars. The app is used most often on the B2B market, and is being offered by various employers as an alternative to old-school lease contracts and public transport subscriptions.
Through Zuid-Holland Bereikbaar, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Rijkswaterstaat, the province of South-Holland, Metropolitan Region Rotterdam The Hague, the Municipality of Rotterdam, ProRail and the Port of Rotterdam work together to increase the accessibility of South-Holland.