27th March 2013

An innovative idea to see your transport options

Viv Alexander

Development funding from GeoVation enables innovative ideas to get started.  We’ve published case studies in which GeoVation winners, like liftshare, explain what happened after they won funding and how they developed their innovative idea.

liftshare were one of the winning ideas awarded funding in our ‘How can we improve transport in Britain?’ GeoVation Challenge with their idea for a tool to create individual personal travel plans.

A personal travel plan in itself is not a new idea. However, being able to create a plan with all an individual’s options in one document, with a search time of under 30 seconds, is the innovative idea that was put forward by liftshare.  liftshare is a social enterprise, which describes itself as mission-driven rather than profit-driven’ and whose aim is to encourage sustainable transport options and cut carbon emissions by car-sharing. It wants to get people to think about their travel options, but understand that this isn’t always easy, especially for those new to an area or working parents. myPTP’s are individual personal travel plans produced in a single document, which allow individuals to evaluate their transport options while considering CO2, financial and other implications such as calories burnt. This can be used to improve the commute to work and create a modal shift towards more sustainable travel options.

liftshare image

After receiving funding from GeoVation, liftshare set to work building a system to deliver the PTPs and pilot this with employers (two councils and one university). It used a bulk upload system to allow travel planners to deliver a large number of PTPs to employees ‘en masse’. The tool was skeleton-built as an idea, shaped by user feedback, thoroughly researched and then developed, which has ensured that the tool is accessible and engaging. The pilot exceeded the target of a 10% modal shift, with 21% looking to change their daily travel plans.

Building on feedback, liftshare have soft launched myPTP with a major council.  Find out more by reading the case study.

‘It’s really exciting to see how people engage with the process once they start trying alternative methods of travelling to work. Some have even found new routes themselves, which they feed back to the data provider so that routes options and timings continue to improve’. Bryony Ecclestone liftshare

If you’d like to find out more about our GeoVation winners see the case study map.

If you’re inspired by this idea and think you could be a GeoVation winner,  enter our latest GeoVation Challenge ‘How can we help British business improve environmental performance?’