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Mobility-as-a-Service and the Future of City Transport

POSTED BY Nick Maynard
In the context of rising levels of congestion and its environmental impact, it is unsurprising that the efforts of multiple players have focused on finding ways to make travel, primarily in a city environment, more efficient. A catalyst for this change has been the principle of Open Data, which is where cities release as much data as possible about transport, allowing companies to tailor services to gaps in coverage.

From this initiative, the concept of MaaS (Mobility as a Service) has evolved. This is primarily conceived as a method of increasing public transit ridership and reducing traffic on the road, thereby enhancing the quality of life for citizens. While MaaS is not a new concept, it is rather an evolution of customers’ mobility requirements and pricing models, joining disparate methods together in a cohesive whole.

MaaS has the potential to create new business models for the transport sector, enabled by the availability of rich data, and unify multiple platforms and businesses to improve transport planning and management. This will then have several consequences, including reduced environmental impact, increased public transport usage and reduced car ownership.

At present, MaaS is in its early stages of deployment in selected cities and regional areas. This nascent stage reflects the challenges that are in place for widespread MaaS deployment. Cities with MaaS services in place include Helsinki, Stockholm and Vienna.

Despite these initial MaaS deployments however, it is clear that MaaS is at an early stage of development. Most shared mobility providers offer services which address only one element of the mobility problem. Services that fit this mould include transit planning apps such as Moovit, or ridesourcing providers such as Uber, Lyft or DiDi Chuxing. In time, it is likely that these vendors will evolve into full MaaS providers. Indeed, this change is already being noticed in the market, with Uber beginning to offer bikesharing services in selected cities and public transport options being integrated into DiDi Chuxing’s app.

Juniper found that adoption of MaaS platforms will replace over 2.3 billion urban private car journeys annually by 2023, compared with just 17.6 million globally in 2018. This is equivalent to 18 times the number of taxi journeys across New York in 2016.


Figure 2: Total Number of Private Car Trips Replaced by MaaS Trips (m): 2.3 Billion