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Mobility as a Service: An alternative to owning a car

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Mobility in Finland may look slightly different this time next year following the 2016 launch of the world’s first Mobility as a Service (MaaS) company, MaaS Finland.

The concept of Mobility as a Service itself, providing integrated mobility packages based on customer needs, is nothing new. Mobility as a Service is an initiative that is already up and running in Hannover (Hannovermobil 2.0), Vienna (Smile), and across Germany via Deutsche Bahn’s Qixxit, for example.

Freedom of choice for traffic users

What’s new in Finland is that the Nordic country will see the creation of the first company dedicated to MaaS, with the objective being to roll out its service nationwide. The idea behind MaaS, which has the backing of transport giants such as Transdev, is to provide a viable alternative to owning a private car: the new service offers ‘freedom of choice for traffic users’, combining public transport, ‘demand-based traffic’ (Uber is a project partner) as well as private mobility services.

Users are offered various door-to-door options for their journeys based on a monthly subscription model for all their mobility needs, offering customers the best value for their specific requirements and project partners better visibility for their services: a win-win.

Maas Finland is headed up by Sampo Hietanen, who has big plans for the project: “What we want to prove in 2016 is that, from one subscription you have access to all and we’re going to prove that it’s doable right across Finland in cities as well as in rural areas – and beyond Finland in two other interesting areas,” said Hietanen.

“Combined mobility, meaning offering integrated mobility services with public transport as a backbone complemented by other modes such as car-sharing, bike-sharing, taxis, cycling and on-demand services is the only mobility solution able to compete with the private car in terms of flexibility, convenience and cost-structure,” added Caroline Cerfontaine, UITP Combined Mobility expert.

For more information, please see: www.maas.fi

Combined Mobility is a topic that UITP has been working on for a number of years now. Find out more about the benefits of Combined Mobility and how it can change mobility behaviour by offering a genuine alternative to the private car, in UITP’s position paper, ‘Becoming a real mobility provider – Combined Mobility: public transport in synergy with other modes like car-sharing, taxi and cycling’.

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