Digitised Mobility for Transport Agencies

Mobility-as-a-Service refers to the concept of integrating various modes of transportation, such as public transit, ride-sharing, bike-sharing, and car-sharing, into a single platform accessible through a smartphone app or other digital interface. By providing users with a seamless and convenient way to access different modes of transportation, multimodal journey planning has the potential to improve overall mobility, reduce traffic congestion, and increase sustainability.

Key benefits

Transport agencies across the globe are recognising the potential benefits of seamless, digital mobility solutions and are actively pursuing its implementation. Here are some of the key benefits.

New business opportunities

Adding advanced journey planning features can create new business opportunities for transport agencies, including partnerships with private sector providers, revenue-sharing models, and the development of new mobility services. This can help transport agencies to diversify their revenue streams and improve their financial sustainability. A study conducted by Deloitte found that this could generate up to $1.5 trillion in annual revenue by 2030.

In Australia, The University of Queensland, Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), and iMOVE have partnered to support the delivery of a Mobility as a Service trial, available exclusively to students and staff at The University of Queensland. The technology is provided by SkedGo.

Through the platform users can choose to subscribe to different transport bundles which include a range of unlimited and pay-as-you-go offers, and plan and book these modes through the platform’s advanced multi-modal journey planner. The overall ambition of this project is to provide users with convenient and affordable access to transport, while supporting a transition towards more sustainable transport choices and behaviours.

Consumer grade experience

Embracing a consumer-grade app experience, transport operators can significantly enhance passenger satisfaction and operational efficiency. This approach involves developing applications that are visually appealing, intuitive, and responsive, meeting modern travellers’ expectations for seamless interactions.

Streamlined functionalities, such as easy ticket purchases and schedule checks, reduce wait times and inquiries, and a straightforward onboarding process boosts app adoption among new users. Performance is key, with apps needing to be responsive across various devices to ensure a frictionless experience.

Personalisation features, such as transport mode preferences and travel priorities (speed, cost, convenience, environment, wheelchair routing or walking speeds) allow users to tailor the app to their preferences, enhancing satisfaction. Leveraging device-specific capabilities, like GPS and push notifications (e.g. using real-time data for get-ready-to-leave or next-stop alerts), makes public transport more accessible and user-friendly. A strong focus on data security and privacy is another standard that builds trust.

By adopting a consumer-grade app experience, transport providers can meet the digital age’s demands, offering passengers a reliable, enjoyable, and convenient travel companion, boosting passenger satisfaction, and positioning providers competitively in the market.

What are some MaaS improvements for cross-border public transport?

Increased efficiency and reduced congestion

Digitised mobility services can help transport agencies to optimise the use of existing transport infrastructure, reduce congestion, and improve overall transport efficiency. According to a study by the European Parliament, Mobility-as-a-Service can reduce the number of cars on the road by up to 15%, leading to a reduction in traffic congestion and air pollution. A study conducted by the University of California found that MaaS could reduce car trips by up to 28%. The European Environment Agency found that MaaS could help reduce emissions from the transportation sector by up to 30%.

Proximity-based decentralised cities, so-called 15-minute cities, allow people to access their home, workplace, essential services and amenities within a 15-minute walk or bike ride. They’re hyper-local models based around people (not vehicles), with buildings and public spaces made available for multi-purpose use. This new urban planning model aims to offer a higher quality of life – regardless of socioeconomic status or age – fulfilling six essential needs: living, work, commerce, healthcare, education and entertainment.

Seamless journey planning, booking and payment can provide a complete ecosystem in which to optimise the 15-minute city. Mobility apps can for example help people with limited mobility to access wheelchair-friendly scooters, provide information on footpath accessibility or even alert nearby shops when someone is arriving who needs their support. Therefore, MaaS will improve access and contribute to inclusivity and equity in the 15-minute community.

In-depth data analytics and management

Trip planning generates large amounts of data on transport usage patterns, which can be analysed to improve transport planning, infrastructure investment, and service provision. This can help transport agencies to make more informed decisions on transport policy, planning, and investment.

Data collected from mobility apps is a good place to start, including utilisation rates, usage at certain days and times or most popular modes amongst other information. Data can also be collected through surveys, interviews, and other forms of evaluation. Analysing the data from these sources will help to determine if a mobility project is having a positive impact. By monitoring the results and evaluating any changes that need to be made, it will be easier to create a MaaS business case for any additional investments.

How can providing embedded assistance revolutionise accessible mobility?

Improved accessibility and convenience

MaaS can provide a seamless, integrated, and convenient travel experience for users by offering a range of transport options that can be accessed through a single platform. This can encourage more people to use public transport, reduce private car use, and promote sustainable mobility. A study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that MaaS could reduce travel time by up to 10%.

In the US, Feonix – Mobility Rising works with transit authorities, community based organisations, and major corporations to develop mobility services solving transportation barriers for underserved populations.

The new projects, using SkedGo technology, aim to bring together all operators in one region and provide easy access to their services to the local community. SkedGo has developed easy-to-use mobility applications with advanced accessibility features, integration of local on-demand transport services, a mobility wallet, and easy to use admin dashboards for the transport service providers who do not have sophisticated ride scheduling technology.

How can navigating complex environments revolutionise accessible mobility?

Enhanced Transport Access

Inclusive journey planning technology can improve access to transportation services, particularly for underserved communities. A study conducted by the International Transport Forum found that this could help address transportation challenges for low-income individuals and those living in rural areas.

Developing a solution requires a fundamental rethink and collaboration between transport authorities, organisations and tech providers to foster a greater understanding of how transport and technology can support rural areas. What works in the city won’t necessarily work here and will depend on the degree of rurality. While sustainability is important, precedence has to be given to community wellbeing.  SkedGo client Feonix – Mobility Rising is a great example of this in action and highlights how SkedGo can shape its technology to the needs of communities.

Conclusion

Mobility-as-a-Service and journey planning has the potential to transform urban mobility and address some of the challenges facing transport agencies in North America and Europe. This technology can improve transport efficiency, reduce congestion, enhance accessibility and convenience for users, and create new business opportunities. The successful implementation requires collaboration between public and private stakeholders, investment in transport infrastructure and technology, and the development of policy frameworks that support the integration of different transport modes. MaaS initiatives such as Leicester City Council in the UK or Feonix Mobility Rising in the US are examples of how transport agencies and private sector partners are working together to realise the benefits of MaaS.

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