MaaS: What is it and how does it relate to Public Transport?

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) transforming our public transport

Lately, the concept of “MaaS” is on everyone’s lips, but what exactly is it?

According to UITP, “Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is the integration of, and access to, different transport services (such as public transport, ride-sharing, car-sharing, bike-sharing, scooter-sharing, taxi, car rental, ride-hailing and so on) in one single digital mobility offer, with active mobility and an efficient public transport system as its basis.

MaaS public transport

The incorporation of the Z generation as transport users and the high penetration of smartphones in the population is changing the mobility paradigm: from ownership to service.

What is the relation between MaaS and public transport?

Mobility as a service (MaaS) is an opportunity to strengthen public transport through its integration with other shared mobility systems to offer multimodal route, reservation and payment options tailored to the needs of users.

According to Intelligent Transport, the key players for this transformation will be:

  1. Governments: MaaS will be a way to achieve emissions targets and improve their environmental policies.
  2. Public transport authorities: Focused on improving their mobility services, adapting to the new paradigm will be key to continue meeting the needs of the population.
  3. Mobility service providers: The MaaS platform can be a way to gain visibility and thereby increase sales.
  4. Operators: Joining the MaaS will allow more people to use their services on multimodal routes.

Case study: Whim in Helsinki

The Finnish capital was the pioneer in implementing a MaaS service in October 2016, with the launch of the app Whim, through which Helsinki passengers can plan and pay for their trips between public transport, bike-sharing, car-sharing and taxi; All in one app.

The results of the implementation in Helsinki show that the percentage of trips that incorporated public transport increased from 46% to 74%.

Public transport will be the basis of MaaS

The future of mobility is to adapt it to the needs of users and MaaS is a clear example of this. Many operators and public transport authorities are already preparing their integration to MaaS platforms and in Counterest we believe that they will be the basis of this system, as it will allow many users to migrate from private transport to multimodal routes very easily.

Finally, we want to highlight that the benefits of MaaS extend to the environmental level, since they include the reduction of traffic congestion in the city, the reduction of CO₂ emissions (thanks to the use of a greater number of transport modes) and awareness towards greener and healthier mobility options.