Are you a New Mobility Service provider?

Nexus is launching an engagement process with New Mobility Service Providers aimed at extending the reach of public and sustainable transport in North East England.

We're launching a market engagement exercise that will take in companies and experts involved with flexible on-demand transport, aggregator applications, low and zero emission vehicles, and autonomous vehicles, as well as broader transport innovations.

We believe that collaboration with emerging technology and service providers will offer the greatest benefit for new private sector partners and the communities it serves.  Find out more below.

Call for Early Market Engagement

There are a number of New Mobility Services that could benefit (and maybe disrupt) the North East public transport market over the coming years. Tyne and Wear has a reputation for being at the forefront of transport innovation, and there is an opportunity to be a leader as these New Mobility Services enter the UK transport market.

New Mobility Services might come to Tyne and Wear with little involvement from, or engagement with, the local transport authority and transport operators; or we can take steps to encourage innovation and provide a framework within which we want New Mobility Service providers to achieve and succeed.  We favour the latter approach as that will have the potential to maximise the effectiveness of New Mobility Services in our area.  In fact, providers themselves recognise that through a collaborative approach to delivery, the benefits of innovation can be maximised and the risks minimised.

Our intention is that Tyne and Wear becomes a test bed for partnerships and projects that deliver New Mobility Services, complementing and adding value to existing public transport networks. We believe that Tyne and Wear is big enough to provide a meaningful and scalable test bed, but not so big that the effects of investment in transport innovation are hard to identify and isolate.

Nexus, the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive

Nexus’ interest in this subject is as the public transport policy and delivery agent for the North East Combined Authority (and the emerging North of Tyne Combined Authority). The NECA (and in time its successor joint committee) is the Local Transport Authority in Tyne and Wear, Nexus is the delivery vehicle for the local transport authority function. Nexus works closely with public transport operators to deliver objectives and strategies; and Nexus itself is the operator of the Tyne and Wear Metro and the Shields Ferry.

Tyne and Wear is rich public transport territory where bus ridership is amongst the highest in the UK.  A comprehensive Metro system continues to thrive and attract Government funding across its 60 stations and 90 Metrocars. With public transport well engrained in our region, the opportunities for innovation to add further value for the travelling public are potentially huge.

Our objectives

The purpose of this market engagement is to begin a process of rapidly assembling and assessing New Mobility Services ideas and proposals that could deliver benefits to people travelling in Tyne and Wear. We invite New Mobility Services ideas from suppliers and experts in the field, which we will assess against a set of high-level objectives.  From that assessment, we intend to select projects and ideas that combine to form a future programme of work that will best deliver our objectives, subject to the availability of funding.

The objectives set by Nexus will ensure that New Mobility Services bring benefits to people in Tyne and Wear and limit any adverse effects on the existing public transport services that people already rely on. Our objectives are to:

    1. Extend the reach of today's public transport networks and optimise use of spare capacity;
    2. Contribute to the environmental priorities of Tyne and Wear; and
    3. Enhance transport's ability to meet our social and economic needs, safely and securely.

Our requirements

Nexus has undertaken preliminary investigations to understand the New Mobility Services innovations being considered in the UK and European transport markets. This work culminated in a Transport Innovation workshop in late 2017, which bought together public sector, academic and industry colleagues to raise awareness of New Mobility Services in Tyne and Wear and kick-start a conversation about what New Mobility Services could do for the region. This workshop concluded that Tyne and Wear should give active consideration to projects and services that could add value to transport, with the region leading from the front to introduce innovation in transport.

Nexus is interested in speaking to New Mobility Services providers and experts that have skills and knowledge in the following areas:

  1. The provision of flexible on-demand transport services.
    We are interested to hear about ideas to introduce bookable flexible transport services that extend the reach of existing mass transit networks in Tyne and Wear,  helping to attract travel demand that would otherwise be satisfied by the private car.  These flexible transport services should add value to existing networks in the short term and not simply replace them, unless there is a strong case to do so that matches the needs of current users.
  2. The provision of transport aggregator applications.
    We are interested in ideas to bring journey planning, real-time journey tracking and journey payment/ticketing into a single mobile application across a full range of public transport, on-demand transport, taxi, cycle hire and car hire options.  We are equally interested to hear how a transport aggregator app might be extended in its functionality to include other lifestyle benefits. An important outcome that Nexus wishes to achieve from these applications is to reduce people’s reliance on their private car. Nexus has already commenced a market engagement exercise to develop a Metro journey planning and payment app – we see the transport aggregator app as the logical next step in the development of a tool that facilitates intelligent and informed journey choices and ticketing.
  3. The provision of low/zero emission buses.
    These zero emission vehicles would contribute to the achievement of local air quality goals, help make buses more attractive to existing and new passengers and offer a proving ground for new technologies that could be adopted by commercial bus operators. We are already actively pursuing funding opportunities for these vehicles in conjunction with operators, we would welcome ideas from suppliers and innovators on how they can be introduced as rapidly as possible.
  4. The role of autonomous vehicles in the delivery of transport services across all modes of road transport.
  5. There is also a fifth area of interest, which is any other transport innovation that can be shown to assist Nexus in achieving its public transport objectives.  These may be innovations that are still at the concept stage, or innovations that are proven elsewhere but not yet present in our transport market.

Assessing New Mobility Services innovations

In order that Nexus can judge proposals and select the most promising New Mobility Services innovations, a series of structured questions has been prepared so that we can understand each proposal and assess how it helps us deliver our objectives. The questions will also allow us to understand your proposal in relation to a number of technical and governance issues, which will allow us to judge how it fits into our wider vision and programme for New Mobility Services.

The response to each question should be no longer than 1,000 words and focus on your key messages, not attempt to describe the entire proposal in detail. We will discuss the detail with you later, once we have selected a range of ideas that we think can deliver for our region.  Where applicable, delivery of these ideas will follow Nexus’ procurement processes.

The questions we would like suppliers and experts to answer are:

  1. What is your proposition?
    Set out a description of your proposition and explain in broad terms how it would work in an urban transport environment. Set out what particular features of your proposition do you consider most relevant to the transport market and needs in the Tyne and Wear region.
  2. How does your proposition deliver our objectives?
    Provide a series of logical steps that demonstrate how your proposition affects transport in Tyne and Wear and delivers our objectives.
  3. What is your approach to the provision of data on transport?
    Identify what data may need to be sourced from Nexus in order to ready yourself to implement your New Mobility Services proposition. Set out what travel data (and data about other related subjects) your proposition will generate once it is up and running.  Explain how your proposition will provide information about services that is capable of being integrated into a single transport data repository. Set out your approach to sharing data about the use and performance of your proposition, so that the transport system can be analysed and optimised.
  4. How do you see your proposition being delivered in practical terms in Tyne and Wear?
    Set out the relationships and partnerships that will need to be formed.  Is there a need for a public procurement exercise to deliver your proposition, or can your proposition be delivered simply through co-operation without the need for public funding?
  5. What commercial arrangements will need to be put in place to deliver ideas?
    Set out what other transport operators, public authorities and other stakeholders need to be involved in order to deliver your proposals. Set out how you see those commercial arrangements being negotiated or procured.
  6. What do you see as the public sector’s role in managing the quality of operation, or even regulating, your proposition?
    Explain your understanding of what existing regulatory powers are in place that Nexus can make use of.  Are there additional powers that you believe Nexus would benefit from?
  7. What risks for the travelling public, and the transport networks they use, might arise from your proposition?
    Set out how do you think those risks can be controlled and mitigated.  Please evaluate the scale and value of those risks, if that is feasible.
  8. How will your innovation be available to all people travelling in the region?
    The provision of inclusive public transport is a critical requirement for Nexus.  Set out how your proposition will cater for people with particular requirements. Not everyone in Tyne and Wear has access to reliable mobile technology, set out how the travel needs of those people will be served.  Some people have particular mobility needs, how will they be catered for?

Next steps

Details of your New Mobility Services proposition should be submitted to Nexus in the form of a New Mobility Services Proposal, using the template provided below. The deadline for submitting completed proposals is 23:59 on Tuesday 31 July 2018. If you let us know in advance, we will accept proposals submitted a day or two late, given that this is in the middle of the school holiday period. Your completed submission should be sent in PDF format to [email protected].

Suppliers and experts who submitted proposals have been invited to pitch face to face to Nexus and answer questions that might arise at Open Days on 8 and 9 October 2018. 

Once Nexus has received all proposals, evaluated them and received your pitch at the Open Day, each will be analysed qualitatively against our objectives.  The proposals that we consider the most favourable in achieving our objectives will be selected.  This will enable us to develop a future programme of partnerships and actions to meet our objective of establishing Tyne and Wear as a New Mobility Services test bed.