MaaS: A Rapidly Changing Transport Industry
Travel modes are increasing in diversity, making it difficult to modulate each one and to optimise itineraries. In this challenging setting, MaaS is establishing itself as an innovative concept. This service allows users to coordinate every means of transport available in one area to offer streamlined, consistent routes. It can even accommodate some modes of transportation that were seldom used up until now, such as Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT).
MaaS : What does it mean?
Poised to turn into a pillar of mobility in the near future, MaaS focuses on practicality and aims to encourage people to become less reliant on their personal vehicle.
The Principles of Mobility as a Service
MaaS – which stands for Mobility as a Service – is a new concept which intends on bringing together every single transit mode under one application that users can rely on to find the best route for their journey. The service does not include personal vehicles, as the whole point of MaaS is to reduce the use of cars to an absolute minimum.
With MaaS, downloading several applications and cross-referencing them to try and figure out which types of public transport will result in the best itinerary is no longer necessary. Here, everything is modelled to offer users an optimised route, taking every means of transport available into account.
This means that MaaS gives its users a streamlined and convenient access to multimodality and intermodality whether it be for short or for long trips.
How Does MaaS Work?
MaaS is available in the form of an application which can be accessed from a smartphone. The app allows travellers to select any means of transport they wish in order to get around thanks to a complete indexing of the possibilities available to them. This means that a MaaS application carries out several actions:
- Listing several travelling options, taking travel time, rates, and means of transportation into account;
- Storing e-tickets directly onto a smartphone to be used as paperless travel passes;
- Centralising payment for every trip.
The MaaS system is available on a monthly subscription or on a per-action basis.
MaaS: An Innovation with Multiple Benefits
Much more than a simple app amongst an ocean of other smartphone services, MaaS is part of a genuine, large-scale citizen initiative and has many benefits.
While mobility options have never been as varied as they are today, it isn’t always simple to match countless means of transport and to optimise a trip. By centralising all the data and allowing users to create their own custom itinerary taking into account every mode of transport, MaaS adopts a unique approach: bringing the use of personal vehicles down to a minimum and promoting public transportation.
This multimodal transport channel is comprised of every single means of transportation available, from trains to subways all the way to bicycles, walking, non-motorised scooters and more.
Being able to benefit from a simplified, logical, and optimised trip makes for a high-quality user experience. This encourages commuters to opt for alternative means of transport when going to work or on their personal travels instead of relying on their own car.
By adopting this approach, MaaS also aims to help free up road networks and to make parking easier.
MaaS: A Solution with Strong Ecological Ambitions
By promoting public transportation and low-impact transport in general, MaaS is acting in favour of sustainable mobility. This service offers means of transport that are more environmentally friendly than a personal vehicle and supports the measures put in place by governments towards achieving their green transition.
Thus, the levels of pollution are significantly reduced, and the overall quality of the urban environment is greatly improved: less noise, fewer unpleasant smells, cleaner air, lighter traffic…
MaaS can help commuters become more aware of the fact that owning a vehicle is not all that necessary to city dwellers and that mobility alternatives abound inside urban areas.
A Social Approach to Shared Mobility
Until quite recently, mobility systematically equated to the use of a personal vehicle. This was the most prevalent mode of transportation as it carried an aura of comfort and security. Nowadays, means of transport are more diverse and more advanced, encouraging city dwellers to rethink mobility and to turn to shared solutions.
MaaS is a wonderful way to bring people together and gives them access to a service based on sharing and conviviality. Whether it be through public transport or through shared mobility services put in place by private companies, MaaS unites people around a single cause and the same objective: Leaving their personal vehicle at home to preserve the planet and to improve traffic conditions within the city.
Facilitating Access to Information and Payment through MaaS
Finally, from a purely practical perspective, MaaS greatly facilitates transport-related payment operations. Instead of having to carry one type of ticket for the bus, a different type for the subway, a pass to use public bicycles, and another one for the tramway in their wallet at all times, MaaS users can centralise all their payments straight from the application.
In the shape of a monthly subscription or on a per-action basis, users pay for their trips very conveniently depending on the partners they have selected.
MaaS and Demand-Responsive Transport
While MaaS can be inscribed in a convenient approach to urban mobility, it is just as relevant in extra-urban or rural areas and establishes a link between various actors. This is why, in keeping with its aim to reduce the use of personal vehicles and to promote multi-modality, MaaS includes Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT) alternatives. This mode of transportation is especially compelling in rural areas where it corresponds the most to MaaS’s approach to inter-modality.
Users in extra-urban areas will therefore be able to integrate DRT into their itineraries and will benefit from services on par with the close-knit transport infrastructure found in cities. This solution provides novel options to rural dwellers who, up until now, had no other choice but to use their own car to get to work or to the nearest city because these areas were not well covered by public transport networks.
A true innovation at the service of all kinds of users, Maas is a simple and efficient solution which optimises commutes. Padam Mobility inscribes its actions within this initiative by giving every community the possibility to include DRT in their mobility offering, particularly in rural areas.