Getting all the players to coordinate on an open standard for booking transport
Presented at ITS Asia Pacific Forum 2021
Speaker: Dr. Tim Cooper, SkedGo
Presentation prepared by
Dr Tim Cooper, Chief Software Architect at SkedGo (provider of MaaS technology) and
Edwin van den Belt, software architect at DAT. Mobility (experts and consultants on traffic and transport)
Starting off his talk, Tim presents his definition of MaaS. He stresses the importance of being able to use the one app in different cities, without a need to sign up for any new services.
The TOMP-API was created to fill an urgent need. In order for a MaaS ecosystem to exist, whereby there is competition between both MaaS providers and transport providers, there needs to be an industry standard booking API. This is especially important for long distance travel. The API would need to let you book taxis, ride share, trains, coaches, ferries, scooters, city bikes, parking spots, electric vehicle charge spots, etc.
The TOMP-API was developed in the Netherlands under the auspices of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water. The MaaS Alliance, a public-private partnership creating the foundations for a common approach to MaaS, became aware of it, saw that it worked and endorsed it as a standard.
The TOMP-API structure includes operator information, planning, booking, trip execution and payment. Although it doesn’t exactly solve the payment problem, it provides a hook into a payment system, so that the MaaS provider can debit the user account and later perform back office reconciliation with the transport providers.
When the talk was initially written in February 2020, about ten parties in total were interested or considering to implement TOMP-API. By now (April 2021), over 50 parties have implemented it, and many more are interested, chiefly in Europe.
For Australia, Tim’s prediction is that smaller transport providers will be the first adopters, because they have most to gain. He and Edwin expect that long distance rail and coach especially will be interested in the TOMP-API.
Lastly, Tim looks at two scenarios of what the contractual side of MaaS might look like in future, comparing city-led and MaaS operator-led MaaS ecosystems.
SkedGo provides the technology and intelligent algorithms to power MaaS applications. If you’d like to discuss your MaaS project, we’d love to hear from you. We’d also be interested to hear from potential investors. Please feel free to get in touch.
Title image ©SkedGo 2021