Ask-Annie

Ask-Annie – the personalised travel assistant

‘Ask-Annie’ is a new Mobility as a Service platform (MaaS) being implemented in the West Midlands exclusively for over 65s. It is an online and telephone based personal travel assistant which builds personalised journey itineraries with price comparisons for all modes of transport and incorporates any special requirements a user may have. The pilot is being delivered between Viaqqio, part of the ESP Group and West Midlands Trains.

The Ask-Annie pilot is an extension of the work undertaken in a project called Car Freedom, in which 100 over 60s from the West Midlands area got advice on travelling better when they received their concessionary travel pass. Car Freedom participants could speak to trained advisers with any query about their transport and travel and a series of events were hosted to allow members to come together and discuss the transport challenges which they wanted help with.

The ‘Ask-Annie’ pilot was initially launched to a small test group in May 2018 and will be extended in the next phase with the introduction of a new WebApp with travel tools to complement the existing phone based service.  The next phase launches on 31st August and up to 40 more volunteers are being recruited to trial the revolutionary new service for this age group.

ASK ANNIE

TRAVEL ASSISTANT

Ask-Annie is a journey planning service aimed specifically at the over 65s, providing tailored itineraries across all modes of transport in the West Midlands.

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CO-DESIGN

A select group of 10 participants have been using the Ask Annie since May 2018 and meeting together to discuss their experiences and to co-design the service.

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EXTENSION

The Ask-Annie pilot is an extension of the work undertaken in a project called Car Freedom, in which 100 over 60’s from the West Midlands area got advice on travelling better when they received their concessionary travel pass.

Partnerships for the future

Ask-Annie is a joint partnership between Viaqqio and West Midlands Trains. This alliance has enabled the learnings from Car Freedom to grow into the development of a trusted and powerful tool for older people in the West Midlands area.

Francis Thomas, Head of Corporate Affairs at West Midlands Trains said: “Everyone is welcome on our trains but a lack of confidence and unfamiliarity can be major barriers among some groups. Ask-Annie is an important part of our commitment to making travel on our network inclusive. We also want to make it easier and simpler for passengers to connect with other types of public transport. Giving our older customers the confidence to take new journeys is a part of that. We appreciate all the feedback from the initial trial group and welcome anyone else who wants to be a part of Ask-Annie to come forward.”

Anyone over the age of 65 who lives in the West Midlands area can register their interest to be part of the next phase of the ‘Ask-Annie’ trial launching 31st August by going to this website or by calling the Freephone number 0808 169 1701 between 9am and 5pm.

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Get In Touch

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