MaaS travel apps promise cheaper and safer journeys with new UK government guidelines

Posted: 31 August 2023 | | No comments yet

With the introduction of the UK government’s MaaS code of practice, commuters across the country can expect more streamlined journeys that are not only cost-effective but also prioritise accessibility and safety for everyone.

MaaS travel apps promise cheaper and safer journeys with new UK government guidelines

Commuters and travellers in the UK are set to experience more affordable, secure and accessible journeys as the UK government introduces innovative guidelines for travel and navigation app developers. The Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) code of practice aims to revolutionise how people travel by ensuring that apps provide seamless journeys for all users while prioritising accessibility and safety.

Popular applications like Citymapper and Google Maps already utilise MaaS technology, which combines data such as transportation schedules and ticket costs from various modes of transport into a unified app experience. This integration empowers users with streamlined options for their journeys, eliminating the hassle of navigating through multiple apps.

One of the notable features of the new guidelines is the emphasis on accessibility. App providers are encouraged to incorporate features that cater to individuals with different needs. This includes suggesting wheelchair-accessible routes and stations, as well as ensuring step-free alternatives for all routes.

Safety has also been given a boost in the new code of practice. Apps will offer users the ability to select “main roads only” options for their routes, keeping them on well-lit and secure paths. In addition, the apps will allow users to share their real-time location with a contact while in transit, enhancing personal safety.

The guidelines do not overlook those in rural areas either. Considering that internet connectivity might hinder online journey planning, the government recommends that platforms offer offline alternatives. This could involve providing contact details for taxi services or options to claim compensation for travel delays.

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Jesse Norman, Technology and Decarbonisation Minister, said: “New technologies are transforming how we travel, making journeys easier for those with disabilities and connecting rural towns and villages better, among much else. With the new code of practice, the Department for Transport (DfT) is encouraging app providers to make the most of the new technology, helping to ensure potentially vulnerable groups and communities are not left behind.”

By combining planning and payment processes within a single app, MaaS platforms are set to make journeys even more convenient and tailored to individual needs. This could potentially lead to decreased travel costs through increased competition and choice.

As the transport landscape evolves, with public transportation and shared mobility gaining popularity, the government is encouraging tech companies to innovate and consolidate different modes of transport into a single, user-friendly platform. The aim is to make travel smoother and more accessible across the UK, thereby contributing to economic growth.

As the MaaS guideline takes effect, the government hopes that the collaboration between technology providers, authorities and academic partners will continue to drive the evolution of transportation services across the country.

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