MaaS use cases #6: supporting a sustainable future with greener transport & lower emissions

This is the sixth article in our ten-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. 

Governments are committed to reducing their carbon footprint, with fossil fuel vehicles – one of the top pollutants – firmly in sight. The rise in congestion impacts the environment, public health and organisations too. 

MaaS can help track CO2 emissions and provide transparency on emissions per trip to users, raising awareness of the consequences of their transport choices as well as energy consumption. MaaS can also break down the CO2 for each leg of a journey, depending on the transport mode and distance travelled so there are many motivating factors for people to use it depending on their preferences and circumstances.

This could also be coupled with financial savings and health benefits by opting for active travel (as mentioned in previous articles). Providing gamification and incentives is just one of many measures that could be used in MaaS apps to reduce emissions by rewarding better choices. This could involve partnerships to provide, for example, money off vouchers, cinema tickets, cashback or carbon offsetting initiatives.  

Local governments and environmental organisations can use MaaS to garner a shift in citizen behaviour, taking account of emissions targets that need to be met. This is by no means a short-term solution but about effecting longer-term change – something which can more easily be supported with the right technology. 

Sustainable MaaS in practice

Example: The city of Lahti in Europe implemented “CitiCap” a ‘personal carbon trading scheme’ to address CO2 emissions from transport and to incentivise sustainability. The app tracks travel mode, distance and duration, calculating the resulting transport emissions. Choose a sustainable form of travel and the user is given “carbon allowances”. This equates to ‘virtual euros’ which can be used for benefits and services such as bus tickets or shared car use (Nordic Council of Ministers).

”Our aim is to find the most inspiring ways to attract more people to walk, cycle and use public transportation. Through CitiCAP we will build a completely new public incentive, the personal carbon trade (PCT), that may revolutionise the participation of citizens to climate change mitigation.”

Jyrki Myllyvirta, former Mayor of Lahti

“Active cyclists will get gift cards to bike shops, and there will also be public transport tickets as prizes.”

Saara Vauramo, Environmental Director of Lahti city

Scenario: A public transit authority uses aggregated anonymised data from its MaaS application to track CO2 emissions across the region. This provides insight into how people are travelling, what modes are being used, the distances being travelled and how much CO2 is generated. It can see that cycling is chosen more often in certain areas than others. The PTA can also see that many people are travelling into the city centre by car or train from rural suburbs. Gathering data like this provides a starting point to explore how the transport system can be improved and greener alternatives introduced. 

Who is sustainable MaaS for

  • Governments
  • Transport operators
  • Public transit authorities
  • Businesses, charities and environmental organisations
  • Citizens and ‘green’ enthusiasts

Questions to ask yourself 

  • How much CO2 is being generated in your region or organisation? 
  • To what extent are citizens/employees choosing greener modes of transport? Where do improvements need to be made?
  • How does reducing environmental impact fit into your business and CSR plans? 
  • How could you use MaaS to work together with employees and citizens to reduce carbon emissions and support environmental goals?

Answering questions like these will help you figure out how you can utilise MaaS to reduce carbon emissions and encourage sustainability. If you run a public transit authority, business, charity, environmental organisation or are a transport operator that would benefit from MaaS, feel free to get in touch to discuss how SkedGo could support your efforts.

We hope you enjoy this series. Read part 1 about accessibilitypart 2 about corporate mobilitypart 3 about active travelpart 4 about lifestyle MaaS and part 5 about business models.

Photo by Bear Gingerbliss from Pexels