Moscow MaaS platform unites operators into single service
Maksim S. Likustov, Deputy Mayor of Moscow for Transport, details the Russian capital’s plan for widespread mobility integration, and introduces us to some of the industry players whose work will make it happen.
Moscow's MaaS platform will unite various car sharing, scooter rental and taxi operators.
In Moscow, scooter rental companies and car sharing platforms are set to join the MaaS platform, which combines all modes of public transport and provides the opportunity to create a multimodal route.
Taxi and car sharing platforms Yandex.Drive, Citymobil, Delimobil, BelkaCar and others, as well as electric scooter rentals Urent, Whoosh and Samokat Sharing are ready to join the unified MaaS platform in the Russian capital.
As Deputy Mayor of Moscow for Transport, I previously announced the creation of a single mobile app based on the concept of MaaS, combining all modes of public transport and providing the opportunity to create a multimodal route. All operators of taxis, car sharing services, bike rental, scooters were invited to join the platform.
This application will give users the opportunity to plot a comfortable route, pay for it once, choose a suitable mode of transport and immediately receive all related information about the trip, restrictions, overlaps, tariffs of different operators.
Citymobil (a taxi operator) was the first to decide to join the app. Negotiations are already underway on the technical side of the work. Executive Director of Citymobil Vitaly Bedarev was proud to among the first to join the platform: “The initiative of the Moscow Department of Transport to create a platform for different modes of transport will become a comprehensive project that will attract the attention of citizens to various mobility services.
“We were one of the first to join it among private companies, because we believe in the development of urban transport infrastructure in this direction and want to be its integral part.”
According to him, the needs of residents of a modern metropolis cannot be satisfied only by a private car or public transport. “Every day a citizen solves the problem of moving from point A to point B, based on preferences in terms of speed, price and convenience. We believe that the task of Citymobil as a city transport service is not to solve the problem of “ordering a taxi”, but help to efficiently and comfortably move around the city using various modes of transport”, Bedarev added.
In addition, the GR-director of the taxi operator inDriver Galina Sheygas announced her readiness for cooperation. “We are ready to participate. The MaaS concept is fully consistent with inDriver’s development strategy – to give freedom of choice to people” she said.
Yulia Varlamova, a spokeswoman for the Vezet group of companies, confirmed that the taxi service supports the initiative of the Moscow authorities to create an application based on the principles of Maas. She said: “This is a big step in the development of digital technologies and user experience. We are ready for cooperation and will closely follow the development of the project.”
Anton Ryazanov, the General Director of the taxi and car sharing aggregator Yandex.Drive, said that the company considers the MaaS platforms as an interesting new direction in the development of urban mobility. According to him, at present, the functioning of such platforms is limited, in most large megacities the issue is only in the early discussion stages.
“At the request of the Moscow Department of Transport, Yandex.Drive is discussing the prospects of this technology in the metropolitan area with organisations authorised by the city.
“A number of solutions, consistent with MaaS, (such as the partial integration of services into the Moscow Transport application), have already been implemented by us.
“The samples of MaaS platforms presented today in the world, for example, in Finland, where this technology was born, or in Singapore, where it is most developed, are developed by private, not state-owned operators. They are voluntary for all participants in the transport market, who compete with each other for subscribers and service providers,” Ryazanov added.
Car sharing platforms are also set to be incorporated into the platform, with companies such as Delimobil and BelkaCar being encouraged to participate.
“MaaS as a concept was originally embedded in the logic of car sharing. To us, as an online platform, the idea itself seems absolutely logical, and we support its implementation.
“Since car sharing has long become a habitual component of the lifestyle of a modern Moscow resident, it is important to understand exactly how the implementation model will look” commented Elena Bekhtina, the Director of Delimobil.
She also considers combining technology of similar, but still different services into one platform, a difficult task. According to Bekhtina, it will certainly take time: “It is necessary to conceptually understand how it is possible to carry out such integration seamlessly, without losing the quality of service, while retaining the advantages and privileges they have developed for car sharing clients,” she said.
BelkaCar Managing Partner Loriana Sardar expressed an interest in cooperation with the Moscow Department of Transport in new projects aimed at increasing the mobility of Muscovites. But for more accurate forecasts about the participation of the car sharing service in the project, the company says it needs to better understand the business model and functionality of the MaaS app.
“MaaS applications are actively developing all over the world and are gaining more and more popularity. We ourselves are actively using the MaaS functionality in the maps of major players, which display the optimal routes for travel by public transport, taxi and bike sharing,” Sardar added.
One of the major pieces in the MaaS jigsaw is scooter rental. Scooters offer a valuable, last-mile on-demand service which is difficult for other modes of transport to fulfill.
Andrey Kolesnik, the Director of Urent, thinks the capital is raring to go as far as scooter rental is concerned. “Moscow already has the necessary infrastructure for the development of sharing services – wide sidewalks, bike paths, as well as an urgent need for their further development: traffic jams, parking difficulties, etc.
“But the user now has to use several different applications, sometimes up to a dozen, which is inconvenient. The initiative of the Moscow Department of Transport to create a unified platform on which different operators will be represented will significantly simplify user experience, and thus make sharing more popular in general,”
Vasily Bykov, the General Director of Scooter Sharing, added that building a door-to-door route, taking into account congestion and user preferences, may include travelling by scooters.
Dmitry Chuiko, the Deputy General Director of Whoosh (a scooter sharing operator), thinks that scooters can be the solution to the last-mile problem in Moscow: “Everyone uses map services, where you can find the best way to travel for the current situation. I must say that maps now do not take into account scooter sharing as a way to travel two or three kilometers after using the metro, for example.
“It seems that all this leads to the fact that users do not choose a faster mode of transport, but they choose what is more familiar. Combining all urban transport in one resource is a good idea, which in the future will make it more convenient to move around the city. MaaS in the form in which it is conceived seems to be a promising product.”
Maksim S. Liksutov is the Deputy Mayor of Moscow and Head of the Department of Transport and Road Infrastructure Development. In 2007, he graduated from the Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics and from 2005 to 2008, he was a Board of Directors member of ‘TransGroup’ LLC. Since 2009, Liksutov has held the position of General Director of ‘Aeroexpress’ LLC. Since 29 April 2011, Liksutov served as an Adviser to the Mayor of Moscow on transport and road infrastructure development. By the Decree of the Mayor of Moscow on 25 September 2012, he was appointed as Deputy Mayor of Moscow, Head of the Department for Transport and Road Infrastructure Development of Moscow.
Fleet Management & Maintenance, Infrastructure & Urban Planning, Mobility Services, Multimodality, On-Demand Transport, Passenger Experience, Public Transport, Transport Governance & Policy, Travel & Passenger Information