Somar Digital chosen as part of Waka Kotahi Innovation Fund

2 min read

Somar Digital is thrilled to be an approved applicant as part of Hoe ki angitū, a $15 million innovation fund set up to address challenges facing New Zealand’s transport system.

Waka Kotahi received over 110 applications from across the country and Somar Digital was one of 24 applicants chosen in the first round of funding(external link), which totals $4.2million.

Applicants were asked to put forward a solution that addresses three key transport challenges facing the country:

  • accelerating the use of recycled materials and sustainable practices
  • integrating low emission first and last-mile travel solutions
  • providing under-served communities with greater access to transport options

The solution that Somar Digital put forward is to develop a ‘total cost of journey’ calculator, to build and prototype a logic-based system that presents people with information about their travel choices comparing the costs and environmental impacts of private vehicle versus public transport use.

“The challenges New Zealand’s public transport providers face, their customers and the respective cities they service are not insignificant. As such we are humbled to be chosen alongside the other applicants to contribute to solving these challenges with innovative, community-focused sustainable solutions” says Somar Digital CEO Fiona Reid.

Somar Digital is partnering with Greater Wellington Regional Council to deliver the project. Together they have designed and built multiple iterations of the Metlink app and website which gives users a way to plan their journey across Wellington’s Public Transport network.

GWRC’s Network and Customer Manager for Metlink David Boyd says: “Understanding the full cost of a journey plays a big part in influencing peoples’ daily travel choices, but the hidden costs of driving make this difficult. This is a fantastic opportunity to give them that information at their fingertips and encourage them to use public transport, cycle or walk.”

by Somar Digital