Startup in Residence Northern Netherlands: Getting there with TripService

Tailored, sustainable and personal travel advice for campus visitors. Startup in Residence Northern Netherlands participant TripService is working with Campus Groningen to not just make the campus more accessible, but also giving green travel options to all of its employees, students and visitors. We caught up with account manager Wouter Giesen, to talk about their progress so far, his experiences and playing an important part in lifting COVID-19 restrictions.  

TripService was founded as a joint venture of 2Ways and BeSite. “2Ways was started by traffic experts in 2016 who taught themselves the programming side, because they felt frustrated that different government organizations have a lot of traffic and road data, and put in the effort to also make all that data end up in the hands of actual road users.”, Wouter explains. “And BeSite has been around as an IT developer since 1999 and the collaboration between both companies led to the startup TripService, where we develop mobility solutions for road users, emergency services and event organizers, for example.”

Green & smart

Campus Groningen has multiple locations across the city and were looking for a solution that not only provides insight into the easiest, least time-consuming and cheapest way to get from A to B, but also the healthiest and most sustainable way. “That felt like the perfect challenge for us”, Wouter says. “We already had a product called Mobility Portal, which is normally for event organizers, that we thought was a great fit. In that sense, we’re a little different from the other Startup in Residence participants, because we already have a validated product. The key challenge for us is to add sustainability options and features to our product, which is what we’re working on together.”

So how’s everything going so far? “Great! There’s a real sense of commitment in working together and Campus Groningen is actively involved and just as invested as we are”, Wouter says. “The first part was about making sure that all of the partners are on board too, and that our Mobility Portal really adds value for them. The real pilot will start in September, when students are starting their classes again.”

“There are basically two types of users”, Wouter continues. “People who are already familiar, like employees and students, and new visitors, for conventions, events, open house days and so on. Those new visitors get personalized travel options, by car or public transport for example, along with being assigned a parking spot. And users will see their carbon emissions for each mode of transport.”

Fieldlabs test events

As COVID-19 restrictions are slowly being lifted, the government initiative called Fieldlabs is currently conducting a series of test events. TripService is currently also busy helping out on the traffic side of things. “We worked together with the Johan Cruijff Arena, where they allowed 5000 people in for a soccer game. These supporters were grouped in so called social bubbles and we were responsible for helping them arrive safely. That meant automatically assigning people the right parking spots for each bubble and making sure all the arriving traffic was evenly dispersed, to minimize contact. That was really great to be part of and we’ll be doing more of these types of events soon.”

As for the near future, TripService has big plans for their mobility portal: “Also because of the Startup in Residence program, we’re developing our mobility portal in such a way where it can be used for a number of different things, like making city centers more accessible in terms of traffic flows, which is really exciting. And for example the option to send users notifications with travel alternatives when traffic gets busier or tell them to leave 10 minutes later or earlier to travel more comfortably.”