Mobility as a Service (MaaS) presents a new way of approaching transport.
In a move away from dependence on privately owned cars or multiple transport apps, MaaS combines mobility services from public transport, taxis, car rental and car/bicycle sharing under a single platform that’s accessible from a smart phone.
MaaS is ‘gaining ground’ with Google searches now returning upward of 400,000 hits on “mobility as a service”. Private and public transport providers, along with state governments, are exploring the beneficial impact of MaaS.
Demographics is key in the motivation behind MaaS. The world continues to urbanise with 55% of the global population living in urban areas today and set to increse 68% by 2050, increasing traffic congestion coincidentally.
With additional infrastructure only providing temporary relief MaaS has been promoted as a better way to manage traffic congestion by making more efficient use of existing private and public transport infrastructure.
MaaS success in Finland is in part due to support from the national government with Finland being the first country in the world to create an open market for mobility services.
For its potential to be realised, MaaS will need government support to ensure a playing field that is fair for existing and new mobility service providers, encouraging cooperation rather than competition.