Private, public, or both? The future of the MaaS revolution

Posted: 21 January 2021 | | No comments yet

For Intelligent Transport , Amy Ford, Vice President, Policy Programs and Mobility on Demand at ITS America and the Mobility on Demand Alliance, assesses the next steps for the complete integration of mobility services, payment, and information delivery across the mobility landscape.

What is the future of MaaS?

Recently, a bomb in the form of an article from David Zipper entitled, The Problem With ‘Mobility as a Service, was thrown into the mobility landscape. The article proposed that while startups, transit agencies and policymakers are eager for MaaS apps that offer travellers multiple on-demand modes – potentially reducing dependence on private cars – revenue for these services has been elusive.

The response was immediate and varied, with some agreeing that MaaS faces significant hurdles to transforming mobility, while others suggested the industry is in the second inning of a long game.

The inherent question in this article is whether MaaS is only the purview of private industry revolution, monetising the integration of mobility services, payment and information delivery across the mobility ecosystem, or whether there is a more substantive strategy that relies on public and private partnership that may not drive revenue. This answer varies when assessing MaaS in the US and in Europe.

The shape and form of MaaS may be at least somewhat (if not highly) context dependent – reflecting the local mobility environment, travel preferences and degree of technology penetration in a community. Additionally, it has evolved as mobility operators battle a global pandemic and confront radically shifting mobility trends and ridership levels.

While each organisation is approaching the integration of mobility services slightly differently, there are some common drivers and themes that are building towards more complete integration of mobility services, payment and information delivery.

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