Transport Committee launch inquiry into the potential of MaaS

Transport Committee launch inquiry into the potential of MaaS

Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) is a broad term for a range of digital transport service platforms, from quite niche online car and bike-sharing schemes to hugely popular, high profile taxi and private hire smartphone apps including Uber and Lyft.

MaaS apps can provide value for money, convenient, on demand services and are transforming how people, particularly younger people in cities, consume urban transport. But, while door-to-door journeys in cities tend to utilise several transport modes including; walking, cycling, minicabs, trains & buses for example. But the most popular smartphone apps to date have tended to be single mode transport, typically taxis and minicabs.

Proponents of an emerging model of MaaS, in which multiple modes of transport are brought together under a single app, believe it has the potential to make getting around via public and shared transport so convenient it will negate the need for people in and around cities to own their own car, with potentially massive benefits in relation to urban congestion, air pollution and health.

Transport Systems Catapult is a company based in the UK and is the UK’s technology and innovation centre for Intelligent Mobility who promotes sustained economic growth and wellbeing using integrated, efficient and sustainable transport systems.

Steve Yianni from Transport Systems Catapult said: “Our research shows that travellers and other transport users increasingly view transport as a service which they want to buy when they need it. Our transport services need to better suit customers’ circumstances and provide options that align with their lifestyles. One size fits all is no longer an option.”

“Dynamically updated and user-relevant information should be the norm, not an exception. This is evident in the way customers adopt services such as Uber. In the future, this trend will continue due to growth of urban populations and changing preferences of younger generations that care less about ownership and more about experiences.”

“The availability of data, processing power and the ubiquitous use of mobile phones has enabled travellers and their needs to be better understood. Passengers no longer need to collect and keep timetables to work out the most optimal connections between transport modes. There is a plethora of personalised apps designed to serve travellers – these apps deliver information in real-time to help avoid congestion and delays and enable the customer to choose a travel option according to the specific travel need.”

For more information regarding this topic visit Transport Systems Catapult’s report on Mobility as a Service – Exploring the Opportunity for Mobility as a Service in the UK

Submit your views

The Transport Committee has called for written evidence addressing one or more of the following terms of reference:

Global evidence to date on the effectiveness of integrated, multi-mode MaaS apps in relation to:

  • Boosting the efficiency of urban public transport systems
  • Managing demand for road use in cities; reducing road congestion and improving air quality

Overcoming the barriers to implementation of integrated, multi-mode MaaS apps in UK cities, including:

  • Current powers, capabilities and resources of local and regional transport authorities
  • Current commissioning models, including the rail franchising system
  • Transport providers’ unwillingness to share data, customers and revenue (including car hire companies; innovators in autonomous vehicles; rail, metro, and bus operators; cycle hire schemes; car clubs; and others)

The role of central government, particularly the Department for Transport, in raising awareness, building the evidence base, and harnessing the potential of MaaS.

Overcoming concerns about digital exclusion, ensuring mobility remains accessible to all.

Submit your views through the Mobility as a Service inquiry page.

Deadline for written submission is Friday 22 December 2017.