The biggest transport revolution of the 21st century
What does this mean for consumers?
Cities are becoming ‘Smart Cities’ by giving their citizens smart tools and adding smart infrastructure. MaaS will change how consumers travel and use different types of transport. Mobility-as-a-Service approaches transport from a user-centric perspective. The assumption is that MaaS will reduce the number of private cars, as alternative transport options become more integrated and fluid.
Currently transport works like this
Users plan, book and pay all transport options separately (public transit, car share, taxi, Uber etc.). Some TSP’s (transport service providers) allow for payment via smart cards, but even then most trips are treated separately and won’t include using car share, city bikes or Uber.
With MaaS it will look like this
MaaS is a drastic paradigm shift in the transport space. Users won’t have to worry about topping up cards, buying tickets, paying for individual fares anymore. Suddenly getting from A to B becomes a more fluid, integrated experience. It will be a massive time saver and hopefully save money too.
Easy, integrated payments
‘Plan’ option: Users pay a monthly plan suited to their transport needs. For example, plans can be split into urban commuter, family, business and casual. They include all public transport options as well as taxi, rental car, car share etc, to cover everyone’s individual needs.
‘Pay on demand’ option: Users pay as they travel with the difference that they pay the whole trip in one go independent of transport means. So if you need to take the train, bus and then a taxi in one trip, it’s all one payment, made automatically via your smartphone.
It’s a bit like different mobile plans. Some users need loads of data. Some don’t but need lots of calls. Others don’t want a contract but pay as they go. That’s why mobile service providers offer a variety of plans and casual options. You get the idea.
What does MaaS mean for the transport industry?
MaaS is being adopted by governments and cities as well as commercial and not-for-profit organisations. Many see MaaS as an opportunity to tailor transportation services to the specific needs of their communities, regions and even entire countries. It’s a chance to improve the travel experience and support global issues around accessible, inclusive and sustainable mobility.
Within this new world, transport service providers (TSPs) will no longer exist in their separate ‘train’, ‘bus’ or ‘taxi’ bubble. This will bring many potential benefits such as improved visibility of services for passengers, more personalised trip planning, and the incentivisation of sustainable mobility.
The way consumers plan, book and pay for transport will become increasingly streamlined, making services more efficient. Pay on demand and subscription plans provide more choice over how transport is consumed based on personal needs. At the same time, TSPs have a greater opportunity to influence travel decisions in positive ways.
Governments worldwide are changing legislation to accommodate Mobility-as-a-Service and to ensure organisations adhere to standards and requirements that benefit all. New modes of transport serve the first/last mile or short hops around cities, bringing the door-to-door multi/mixed modal transport vision to life.
The industry body MaaS Alliance continues to work hard to bring stakeholders together and ensure Mobility-as-a-Service lives up to its promises. Huge strides have already been made. Now is the time for the transport industry to embrace MaaS. Be part of the mobility revolution and create a brighter future for citizens and the environment.
Real-life Mobility-as-a-Service examples
Leicester City Council
Leicester City Council integrated our journey planner technology into its website (part of the Choose How You Move initiative) and launched Android and iPhone apps that incorporate public transport, e-bikes from Santander Cycles, Park and Ride spaces, taxis, cycling and walking routes. Active travel is a key goal of Leicester City Council’s Transport Recovery Plan to reduce car usage, improve air quality and make the city a better place to live, work and visit.
“We chose to partner with SkedGo as we felt that their 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
Transport for Greater Manchester
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) integrated our journey planner into their website to ease city congestion and encourage public transport use. It offers a wide range of mobility options including buses, trains and trams. Travellers can see the CO2 output for each trip and prioritise journeys based on low carbon emissions, time taken, convenience and cost. Our MaaS solutions provide authorities and local governments with data to make greener and more sustainable travel a realistic goal.
SkedGo is the technology enabling partner providing the platform for the ODIN PASS app. ODIN PASS is a MaaS project co-led by the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) and the University of Queensland (UQ) as part of an iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre program. The subscription-based app offers students and staff access to a range of transport options. The success of this project has seen it expand to allow for a further 5,000 subscriptions. The trial was extended to ITS Australia 2022 Summit delegates, providing a new way for visitors to travel around Brisbane and South East Queensland during the event.
We chose to partner with SkedGo given their proven experience in this space and their ability to demonstrate their offering and expertise. With successful deployments across the world, SkedGo brings an understanding of not just the technical aspects of MaaS but an understanding of the customer perspective and the need for a tailored approach to each community.George Chemali, Project Director at Department of Transport and Main Roads
Feonix – Mobility Rising
US-based Feonix – Mobility Rising works with transit authorities, community organisations and large businesses to provide mobility services to underserved populations. It integrates all forms of transport so that local communities can easily access them when required. These easy-to-use MaaS apps have advanced accessibility features, integrate with local on-demand transport services, and offer a mobility wallet too. SkedGo’s solutions are highly adaptable: easy-to-use admin dashboards were created for transport service providers who didn’t have sophisticated ride scheduling technology.
“SkedGo’s willingness to take on the diversity and breadth of projects Feonix delivers has been incredible. They have deployed regional and statewide MaaS projects with a level of customer service and commitment to accessibility that is unparalleled in the industry.”Valerie Lefler, Executive Director at Feonix – Mobility Rising
Optus wanted to offer its employees a broad range of sustainable transport solutions for how to travel to and from work. The Australian telecommunications company decided to provide an app for its employees so they had all the transport information they needed in the palm of their hand. The app needed to be easy to use and useful to employees, but also secure as Optus’ transport services are not open to the public. Optus chose SkedGo’s white label option and decided to include, amongst other things, timetables, maps, SMS alerts and integration into employee calendars so they can plan journeys around their day.
“We chose SkedGo because of the customisation available to the app. To our employees they think they are using the Go Optus app as it’s branded with our corporate logos and colours, but it is using the same SkedGo technology. We also appreciate its security and also the ability to provide users with journey planning options around time, distance, activeness and carbon emissions.”Catherine Alekna, Sustainable Transport Coordinator at Optus
Frequently asked questions about MaaS
Want to know more about MaaS? Below are some of the most common questions.
What is the purpose of MaaS?
MaaS aims to encourage a shift in people’s travel behaviour from private car use to more sustainable modes of transport. The purpose is to cut carbon emissions, reduce congestion, improve air quality and increase the overall livability of our urban areas. MaaS can be used in rural areas too, although this presents more challenges due to the lack of services in less densely populated regions. Mobility-on-Demand (MoD) can go hand-in-hand with MaaS here to deliver the best value proposition for citizens.
The beauty of MaaS is that it brings together many forms of mobility from public transit and community vehicles to car sharing, micromobility and underutilised commercial fleets. It also incorporates broader features from tourism and events to financial and non-financial incentives to support sustainable change. Above all, MaaS adapts to the needs of communities and supports the big challenges transport poses for society and the environment.
Why is Mobility-as-a-Service important?
MaaS acts as a framework to encourage accessible and sustainable transport. This includes making transport more inclusive for underserved communities such as people with limited mobility, the elderly and low-income families. Features such as wheelchair-accessible transport, crowdedness on coaches, lifts out of use, and mobility wallets for free or discounted travel make transport accessible to more people.
From a sustainability perspective, providing visibility of CO2 emissions for each transport
choice helps to keep the environmental impact of journeys front of mind. Integrating active travel such as walking and cycling, along with respective foot and cycle path friendliness helps to encourage the use of these mobility options either independently or in combination with other forms of sustainable transport such as public transit or e-mobility options.
Who benefits from MaaS?
Everyone. Citizens get easier access to a range of mobility options. Personalisation allows users to set their preferences so they can prioritise between saving time, money, carbon emission, or comfort as well as their particular circumstances for each trip. Maybe they favour particular transport options, want the most cost-effective route, or require accessible transport. All these choices can be accommodated.
Governments and transport authorities can work towards smarter, greener cities and encourage behavioural shifts towards more sustainable transport choices. This helps countries to reduce their carbon footprint while MaaS data supports local authorities and transport providers in making better informed transport planning and infrastructure decisions.
MaaS can also benefit commercial organisations, enabling them to provide their own shuttle services for employees and customers as well as deliver on their corporate social responsibility remit and reduce the cost of corporate fleets. Not-for-profit and community groups, meanwhile, can provide services for specific communities making sure those without transport have access to mobility services.
What are some of the MaaS use cases?
MaaS is very adaptable and can deliver on a variety of outcomes. The main three are accessibility, inclusivity and sustainability. However, Mobility-as-a-Service has many other use cases too. It can offer flexible mobility budgets (e.g. for employees), support the health of communities (e.g. active travel) or improve security (e.g. virus hotspots, vehicle occupancy or crime data), act as a personal lifestyle assistant (e.g. integrate with tourist features such as hotels, restaurants, sightseeing activities), or improve transport management (e.g. dynamic asset and infrastructure management). More use cases are emerging all the time.
You can read about some of the different MaaS use cases on our blog.
How can governments and organisations get started with MaaS?
There are several ways to get started with MaaS from simple journey planning applications to more fully-fledged MaaS solutions. These are mainly delivered through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), Software Development Kits (SDKs), or white label solutions. The decision over which route to take depends very much on the requirements of the individual organisation.
SkedGo offers all three options, providing MaaS operators with the functionality they need to support their users. You can learn more about APIs, SDKs and white labels here.
How can SkedGo help with Mobility-as-a-Service?
SkedGo offers personalised trip planning, corporate mobility and other Mobility-as-a-Service technology to governments, corporates, not-for-profits and start-ups. You can subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date on MaaS developments or contact us to talk about how we can help with your mobility project.