New transport app under the spotlight as West Midlands hosts MPs

The West Midlands Mayor has welcomed MPs on the Transport Select Committee to the region as part of Parliament getting out and about in the country.

Andy Street said it was 'a coup that the committee had chosen Birmingham to host the meeting', which explored the issue of Mobility as a Service and, in keeping with the day’s agenda, MPs used a new smartphone app to travel to and from the venue. Speaking about the event, Mr Street said:

“The committee came here because the West Midlands was the first region in the UK to deliver Mobility as a Service - which is at the forefront of our work on transport innovation. 

“We have worked very hard to create a collaboration of public and private sector transport partners, all playing to their various unique strengths to help deliver this service.”

'Whim' is a new app which aims to be the first to combine different methods of transport and allow the user to travel through multiple operators to complete their journey - without having to change their software. Mike Waters, Transport for West Midlands’ (TfWM) director of policy, strategy and innovation, explained:

“Whim could be thought of as similar to a ‘Netflix for transport’. Travellers pay for a complete transport service, normally through a phone based app, to get tailored transport guidance and seamless access to bus, train, tram, cycle hire, car hire and taxi travel.”

The Whim app is a product of MaaS Global, a young and fast growing company based in Helsinki, Finland. Birmingham is the first region in the UK to trial the service which is currently in beta testing.

You can already use the app to plan a journey and buy National Express West Midlands Bus and Metro tickets or to order a taxi, with more transport services following soon. All of these services are currently available on a no commitment “Pay-as-you-Go” basis.

Whim is already used extensively in it's home nation, with monthly plans starting at around 49€ giving you access to unlimited journeys on public transport and a daily 10€ taxi allowance. Similar schemes are expected to be made available in the West Midlands in the near future. Select Committee chair, Lilian Greenwood MP, added:

“We have had a very valuable and informative session here, learning just how much is going into this work in the West Midlands.

“I think we have all found it hugely encouraging and will take very positive messages from today, which we can share for the benefit of similar projects around the country.”


Add a comment

Rating *

Recently Played


  • Available on the App Store
  • Available on Google Play

Useful Links


Travel News

How To Listen

Latest Podcasts

92.2 / 102.5 FM
'Play Black Country Radio'