MaaS use cases #3: keeping communities healthy with active travel

This is the third article in a 10-part series on mobility as a service (MaaS) use cases, highlighting the many different ways in which it can help to solve travel and transport problems for individuals, organisations and governments.

According to the World Health Organisation, one in four adults globally – and more than 80% of adolescents – don’t do enough exercise. But active travel can keep citizens in good shape, prevent common health problems and chronic disease – and reduce air pollution thanks to lower transport emissions. 

Alongside walking, cycling and wheeling, active travel can include running, skateboarding, kick scooters, and roller skates (think Miami Beach!). Details of footpaths and cycle lanes as well as suitability of terrain, path or lane closures, GPS tracking and weather monitoring – can inform trip chains, healthcare and fitness routines, or both. 

With the potential of MaaS apps getting linked to smartwatches or fitness trackers, how far a person has walked or cycled, the calories burned and the progress made on their health goals could all be calculated and analysed, motivating people to reach their targets. MaaS can make it easier for people to plan more exercise into their day, for example, as part of their commute, during their lunch break, or in the evening or weekend.

This is boosted by governments driving active travel such as in the UK where Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council were granted more than £1m of Government funds. Travel Secretary Grant Shapps outlined a £2bn package to keep Britons walking and cycling (Daily Mail). Permanent and ‘pop up’ infrastructures are being implemented in Berlin, Paris, Brussels and Milan too (World Economic Forum). 

Active MaaS in practice

SkedGo collaborated with Leicester City Council to create a new journey planner for the ‘Choose How You Move’ website, part of the Council’s ‘Enhanced Behaviour Change Programme’ which is funded by the Joint Air Quality Unit. The programme aims to improve air quality and encourage people to use more sustainable modes of transport, such as walking and cycling.

By integrating SkedGo’s technology into the website, residents and visitors can visualise their current and new journeys and understand the benefits of active travel and sustainable transport to move around the city.

“We chose to partner with SkedGo as we felt that the TripGo product offered the best functionality and design for journey planning. We were particularly impressed with its ability to combine multiple modes of transport (e.g. cycle – bus – walk) on a single journey as well as its calculation and display of cost, calories burnt and carbon emitted per journey.”

Max S. Longley, Transport Development Officer at Leicester City Council

Who is active MaaS for

  • Governments, councils and authorities encouraging active travel in communities
  • Healthcare and health-orientated organisations (e.g. health insurance companies)
  • Organisations wanting to encourage employees to stay healthy
  • Individuals with an interest in health and fitness
  • People who need to use active travel for economic reasons

Questions to ask yourself

  • How are you supporting active travel and citizen/customer health goals?
  • In what ways are you currently communicating active travel options? How could this be better?
  • To what extent are citizens/customers engaging with active travel as a result of your efforts? 
  • Who could you partner with to help better incorporate active travel alongside other transport modes?
  • How could MaaS support your overall objectives for active travel?

Answering questions like these will help you figure out how you can best meet the needs of citizens to encourage a greater degree of active travel. If you run a charity, not-for-profit, government body, public transit authority, business or other organisation, feel free to get in touch if you’d like to discuss how SkedGo could help you serve your passengers and travellers better. 

Read part 1 about accessibility and part 2 about corporate mobility of this series.