Ask Annie

​We're looking for over 65s to trial a new personalised travel planning service.

Ask-Annie is a free journey planning service aimed specifically at those over 65 living in the West Midlands.

The service provides tailored door to door journey plans across all modes of public transport via a dedicated help line. Customers can call Ask Annie to discuss specific details for any journey, including accessibility requirements, personal preferences and the use of concessionary passes.

We're looking for 40 more participants to join the trial of the next phase of the service from 31 August 2018. This includes a dedicated journey planning website, supported by our help line.

Anyone aged 65 or over and who lives in the West Midlands area can register their interest in the next phase of the trial by going to the Ask Annie website or by calling Freephone 0808 169 1701 between 9am and 5pm.

About Ask Annie

Ask Annie is a joint partnership between Viaqqio and West Midlands Trains. It is an extension of Car Freedom, a successful trial delivered by Viaqqio in 2015-2016 for older people across the West Midlands to test a range of services to support their travel and lifestyle.

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.​

One participant's story:

Jackie, Ask Annie trial participant

Jackie

"Having reached a 'certain age', I reluctantly began planning to give up my car, before someone or something took the decision for me. This brought up some major worries for me.

"Would the loss of a car make my life more restricted? Would travel be more time consuming, more tiring and much less enjoyable?

"Having a serious dislike of taxis, future travel did not look promising! At just the right moment I met Steve and his team who were developing Ask Annie. Happy coincidence or what?!

"Ask Annie provides extremely helpful and comprehensive planning for individual journeys. It compares all modes of transport as well as walking. The service provides itineries that clearly outline journey options based on time, distance, services and cost. Information comes via computer and also by telephone which I find particularly reassuring. Choice becomes much easier for the inexperienced and/or travellers with specific needs.

"Ask Annie has 'nudged' me into trying public transport and I have discovered some advantages as it is cheaper, not necessarily slower, can be more relaxing and there is no need to park!

"The friendliness and professionalism of call centre staff makes 'finding out' a positive experience. The feedback meetings for Ask Annie are also always thought provoking and fun.

"The very hot weather over the summer has prevented me from making many too many trips, but I am now looking forward to some new experiences and rail testing more of AAs planning.

"Thank you so much Steve, Dave, Phil and Co!"

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