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A One-Stop Transportation App? Sounds Like a Mobility Miracle!

Transportation apps are particularly fragmented across the digital landscape, but for Vancouver a mobility miracle may lie up ahead.



January 10, 2019

Apple’s 2009 There’s an App for That campaign posited the iPhone as the greatest tool of the 21st century. Need a dictionary? There’s an app for that. Need a map? There’s an app for that. Want to know what movies are playing in theatres? There’s an app for that too. iPhone users were placed in a cyberwonder class of their own with access to seemingly infinite knowledge and possibilities at their fingertips. Oh how bright and magical was the young digital world.

Apples 2009 “There’s an App for That” campaign


Jump ahead to 2019 and the digital landscape is a bit different to say the least. People view their phones as an obstruction to their daily lives rather than a liberating tool. Today’s App Store offers well over 2 million apps; 4000 times the number of apps available than when the store first opened. Once dazzled by endless options, we now daydream of refinement and cohesion.

Microfragmentation is one of the most frustrating things about apps today, and for transportation apps the sea is particularly vast. Looking for the fastest and cheapest way to get from A to B? It might take you longer to compare the journey across all of your apps than it will to actually get to your destination! Uber, Lyft, public transportation, car share apps, bike share apps, scooter apps, the list goes on…

If only these modes were combined onto one coordinated platform- now we wish there was an app for that!

In Vancouver, the prospects of such a timesaving tool look promising. Trankslink, the region’s public transit authority, has recently established a partnership with local car and bike share companies, suggesting that a collaborative mobility app might be on the horizon. While it’s too soon to know exactly what this joint development will look like, it surely is an innovative and welcomed approach to the future of transportation.

For one of the only North American regions that’s kept TNC’s off the streets, it’s particularly exciting to hear the possibility of a cutting-edge product like this. As noted by the Daily Hive, this collaboration stems from Translink’s first Open Innovation Call which launched in early 2018 and asked the public to address the challenge of “seamless mobility”. Today’s ever-competitive transportation climate feels like anything but, so the prospects of a one-stop app are definitely something to be excited about. We’ll be sure to keep you posted with any updates ahead!


Photo Credit: Kevin Kovaleski

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