Mobility as a Service (MaaS) will replace up to 2.3 billion urban private car journeys every year by 2023, according to a report by Juniper Research. Accumulated annual time savings of over 500 million hours – 90 hours per annum per MaaS user – will become a possibility.
Datuk Madani Sahari, MARii CEO wrote an article “Managing change key to future-proof industry”. According to Datuk Madani, “MaaS is a concept that integrates various transportation services – public and private – into a single, unified mobility service that can be accessed by anyone at any given time”. This offering compelling concept would result in a greater transportation modal shifts.
In other words, it combines multi-modal transport services into a single platform that can assist users through personal devices – usually in the form of an app – to determine the best route, in terms of time taken and pricing.
MaaS is expected to be a game changer, promoting public transport usage, reducing road congestion, leading to improved quality of life for many. Incorporating services such as ride sourcing and ride sharing, as well as integrated transport planning and integrated ticketing would be beneficial – if implemented properly.
Amplifying the MaaS Concept
One of few examples to push MaaS to its best potential is by looking at “PACE” concept, as defined by Huber Hays-Narbonne, a mobility specialist, in a TEDx talk recently in May.
P (Personalized) : Door-to-door concept that can enhance user travel experience from one place to another.
A (Autonomous) : Integration of self-driving elements in all transportation modes can increase daily productivity of the public.
C (Connected) : Connecting all transportation modes can have a tremendous impact in travel ecosystem.
E (Electric) : Zero per cent of Green House Gas (GHG) emission can achieve sustainable environment and mobility that come in various ways – especially in economic aspect.
Challenges in Implementing MaaS
While MaaS is no longer an uncommon subject, there are a few aspects of challenges that need to be considered. Some of these challenges are: infrastructure, data, collaboration and incentives, as they are partly crucial in making any cities around the world, mobility-friendly.
Declaring MaaS zones in a city, is one of the ways to nurture public to use public transport. For example, Vancouver, B.C. a city in Canada, has a restricted portion of Granville Street that is given to pedestrians and public transit known as Granville Mall. Private automobile aren’t allowed to enter the zone, and this action has resulted in an immense drop in congestion.
A lot of high quality, relevant data are needed to make short- and long-term planning decisions. This is where Intelligent Traffic System (ITS) – as mentioned in the previous article – plays a vital role in making transit data public, as well as leverages data analytics to create responsive services through real-time data such as traffic conditions, time of day and demand.
According to CEO MARii, Dato’ Madani’s latest article, “Automotive vendors will have to consider mobility vendorship, with products that are not sold only to car manufacturers but also to the manufacturers of different modes of transportation”. Such effective collaboration has immediate effects, as proved by Helsinki, Finland’s southern capital, which has induced collaboration between its government and MaaS vendors, in order to develop a viable multi-modal system that has significant cost- and time-savings to the user.
Both cities and government play a big role in providing mobility services that are socially equitable. Issues like public’s dilemma in disposing their cars and convincing them to actually use public transport could be negatively accumulated, if not handled properly. One of the alternatives is to make all public transit in the MaaS zones, free of charge, as played out by Luxembourg, Europe.