A New Zealand-first rideshare scheme called AT Local has launched in Devonport.
Three electric vans and three electric cars are travelling around the Devonport peninsula, picking up passengers and taking them to and from the Devonport, Bayswater or Stanley Bay ferry terminals.
AT Local aims to make the first and last leg of a public transport journey easier, giving the people of Devonport even more incentive to use the ferry services.
This is the first on-demand rideshare service in New Zealand using only electric vehicles, and among the first in the world.
Passengers can order the vehicles on the specially developed AT Local app to pick them up from a nearby corner. Passengers can either schedule a pickup or choose to be picked up immediately.
The vehicles operate within a 3km radius of the Devonport ferry terminal and it costs $2.50 per ride.
A tailored transport solution
AT Local will run for a year as a trial to test whether it's a viable way to get people to and from the ferry and other local destinations, free up parking and reduce the number of cars on the road.
North Shore Ward Councillor Chris Darby notes that AT Local provides yet another tailored transport solution for local residents, "2018 has been a year for testing new technologies to support improved mobility – we've so far seen the success of dynamic lane-marking on Whangaparoa Rd and smiles on faces of Lime e-scooter riders. AT Local is another innovative way of getting about without resorting to driving.
"AT Local provides another clever transport option that everyone can use – commuters, shoppers, students and seniors. It's also a great option to use after dark or when the weather turns sour. You'll be safe and dry."
Auckland Transport's Group Manager Market and Engagement, Kevin Leith says the new rideshare will provide an innovative, flexible way for public transport users to get to and from the ferry.
"The ferries provide such a great service that are well used. We believe the rideshare trial will make public transport even more appealing by taking the hassle out of getting to and from the terminal.
"The Devonport peninsula is the perfect place to trial this technology as there are only two ways out of the area, via the very congested Lake Road or on the ferry. We also expect that by getting more people onto the ferry, we can reduce congestion in the area and by giving people an alternative to driving to the terminal, we can free up parking spaces in the town centre."
During the trial, AT will evaluate the successes, make changes where necessary and then look at whether it can be implemented in other parts of Auckland.
The trial is being run in partnership with Via, whose co-founder and CEO Daniel Ramot says this trial is an exciting development that will increase public transport use and decrease congestion through the use of smartphone technology and shared electric vehicles.
"We are thrilled to partner with Auckland Transport to launch the first ever 100 per cent electric on-demand shared transportation service in New Zealand. Via's technology integrates with local public transport making it possible for residents to conveniently get around without a private car.
"App-based mobility services provide consumers with reduced wait times, shorter trip durations, and a more comfortable ride experience, all with the enhanced benefit of reducing congestion-causing single-occupancy vehicle trips. I firmly believe this service will thrive in Devonport and can be rolled out to other parts of Auckland."