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Five factors for MaaS success

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Is Mobility-as-a-Service, MaaS for short, more than a buzzword? If implemented right, it does have the potential to optimise corporate mobility and make cities smarter, Intelligent Transport argues. And here are five factors the magazine considers crucial to successful MaaS implementation.

1. Provide an overview

For MaaS to have a positive impact on people’s lives, its potential users must have access to instant, real-time and on-demand information about the services offered. That raises an important question: in a multi-provider environment, who is tasked with providing that overview? The answer will need to come from one or more of the institutional partners involved in MaaS:

Governments – for whom MaaS is a means to achieve policy targets (including emissions reductions);

Transport authorities – who want to update and improve their services;

Mobility service providers – for whom MaaS is an opportunity to generate profit; and

Mobility operators – who can be reluctant to ‘integrate’ their services, as this could mean relinquishing identity and control.

2. Create trust

Eventually – or at least ideally – MaaS users should be as confident about their journeys, however multimodal they are, as car owners. That implies the ability to identify problems and the knowledge to resolve them by finding alternatives.

So, trust is an essential ingredient to making MaaS work. How it is created, depends on who ‘owns’ the relationship with users – the network operators or the interface providers? But trust between the various mobility stakeholders is just as crucial…

3. Focus on community needs

How cities evolve defies predictions, and MaaS systems too should be flexible enough to transcend expectations of the future. The central focus should be the wants and needs of the community – which can vary, based on cultural differences.

4. Manage data smartly

Newer mobility systems run on old infrastructure, increasing the need to manage the data that flows through the system smartly.

For example: tapping in and out of a metro system with a mobility card gives operators valuable data on the flow of mobility. But when does this stray into an invasion of user privacy? Inversely, will users who choose to keep their data private be able to use MaaS adequately – or at all?

5. Address skills shortage

It takes skill(s) to digitalise the transport ecosystem – and as yet, there’s precious little overlap between the engineering capabilities of public transport staff and the digital savoir-faire of new mobility start-ups. As technology keeps evolving at breakneck speed, the lack of skills overlap is likely to remain a problem.

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