The West Midlands will pioneer innovative new transport schemes to make journeys quicker, cheaper and cleaner following a £20 million funding announcement.
The region has been chosen as the UK’s first Future Mobility Area and will see the money invested in new technology.
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) will work with companies to trial and demonstrate new modes of transport, services and technologies, like mobility as a service, car sharing, electric bikes and using data to bust congestion on our roads
TfWM, part of the West Midlands Combined Authroity (WMCA), will develop new services, apps and projects to improve mobility, speed up journey times and further develop a joined-up transport network across Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
New technology and use of transport data will be used to allow residents to travel seamlessly across different modes finding places to park their car before hopping on a bus, train or tram.
Commuters will get real time traffic data and have greater confidence of knowing how long a journey will take. Building on the success of the Swift card they will have access to the best prices and fares.
The Future Mobility Area will also develop work with companies to develop more car sharing, taxi, electric bike schemes and create more infrastructure for electric vehicles.
Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street said: “I am delighted that today the Government is announcing that the West Midlands will be the first ‘Future Mobility Area’ in the UK.
“This is a sector where we lead the world. Autonomous vehicles are being tested in Birmingham, electric taxis manufactured in Coventry, and Range Rovers are sold around the globe.
“The Future Mobility Area will make sure the residents of the West Midlands can travel around the region as quickly, easily and cheaply as possible.”
The Government will create three Future Mobility Areas of which the West Midlands is the first to be announced.
Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling said: “Thanks to the fantastic work of Mayor Andy Street, Birmingham is set to continue its upward trajectory as a cutting edge city that innovates and leads the world.
“We will create an environment where new technologies and services can be deployed, giving passengers more choice than ever before.
“Whether you’re travelling to work or training or education, all will benefit from the innovation to come.”
Cllr Roger Lawrence, the WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Wolverhampton City Council said: “This will join up our transport network across the West Midlands and allow travellers to move between car to bus, train, tram or bike with confidence.
“With access to up to the minute information they will know how long a journey will take and secure the best fares.
“ Transport for West Midlands is not only investing in our rail, bus, tram and cycling infrastructure but at the forefront of innovation in transport.”