Mobility services in Northern Finland to improve through co-operation

In Northern Finland, tourist locations and places where people live and work are located far apart. We are accelerating the digitisation of mobility services and related co-operation in Northern Finland to make sustainable transportation for local residents and tourists easier.

What is it about?

The tourist destinations and sights in sparsely populated Northern Finland are spread across a wide area. The seasons strongly influence the transportation opportunities available, and it is often difficult to reach these destinations without a car. Public transport is mainly available in the winter, and even then only between key destinations. There are lots of small transport businesses scattered about the area, and access to services is challenging without a digital platform that connects the different services.

What are we doing?

The Arctic MaaS project is building a co-operation model for mobility services extending across all municipal boundaries in Northern Finland, allowing the providers of mobility services to jointly promote sustainable transport in this sparsely populated area. The aim is to support the increasingly effortless use of shared mobility services as an alternative to hiring or owning a car. The project will also develop an open source tool (GTFS Editor) with which the providers of mobility services can easily digitise their prices, routes and other services.

The promotion of strategic co-operation and digitisation of services lays a strong foundation for the open trip planner under development, which will bring the mobility services of Northern Finland conveniently together. With the trip planner developed by VTT, travellers can plan their trips in Northern Finland all the way to switching vehicles. The passenger can also see the most suitable address and stop-specific route at the desired time on a map. Furthermore, the aim is to include real-time information about timetables, interruptions and exceptions and vehicle locations on the map.

The co-operation project originated from a funding round for regional mobility implemented by Sitra during the first half of 2018. The call for funding and related projects are aimed at implementing, among other things, the National Growth Programme for the Transport Sector 2018–2022, funded by Sitra. The project also continues and expands the co-operation and pilot concept that operated in Ylläs between 2015 and 2018.

Who is involved?

The project involves a total of 11 tourist regions, from Kemi to Utsjoki. Sitra is funding the University of Lapland (MTI) and Ylläs Travel Association to build strategic co-operation between the regions of Northern Finland in the project. In particular, the University of Lapland is responsible for co-ordinating the project and surveying and bringing the network together. The Ylläs Travel Association has overall responsibility for supporting and engaging the regions of Northern Finland so that development of mobility services in the region can commence.

Apinf Oy is developing a user-friendly open-source tool (GTFS editor) for digitising transportation data, i.e. importing data to the trip planner being developed by the project, with Sitra’s funding.

One key party included in the project is the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, which is responsible for the development and deployment of the open mobility service platform. In addition to the above-mentioned project parties, key stakeholders and funders include the Municipality of Enontekiö, the City of Kemijärvi, ELY Centre of Lapland, the Regional Council of Lapland, the Municipality of Muonio, ELY Centre of North Ostrobothnia, the City of Pudasjärvi, Pyhä-Luosto Matkailuyhdistys, the Municipality of Salla, the Municipality of Sodankylä, Inari Municipal Business & Development Nordica, Naturpolis Ltd and Kideve Kittilä Development.

Where are we now?

The project was launched in autumn 2018 and will continue until the end of 2019.

The project is comprised of the following ventures.

  1. Surveying and bringing together the Arctic MaaS network and stakeholders and preparing a snapshot of mobility in Lapland (University of Lapland/MTI, September-November 2018).
  2. Developing an open-source tool (GTFS Editor) (Apinf Oy, October 2018-June 2019).
  3. Increasing the awareness, trust and engagement of different mobility service providers (Ylläs Travel Association, September 2018-June 2019).
  4. Building the “ArcticMaaS Strategic Accessibility Co-Creation” model for improving regional mobility and accessibility (University of Lapland and Ylläs Travel Association, September 2018-August 2019).
  5. Assessing and ensuring the continuation of operations (throughout the project).

You can monitor the progress of the project on its dedicated website and on Twitter @OpenArcticMaaS.


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