November 15th became a landmark in the history of urban mobility when Helsinki Regional Transport (HRT) board approved terms for offering public transport as part of MaaS (Mobility as a Service) services. The newly established contract terms make HRT the world’s first capital region transport provider to offer MaaS services to its customers. The Finnish growth company MaaS Global signed a collaboration contract with HRT last Friday.
MaaS Global’s Whim mobility app now includes public transport as well as taxis and rental cars for a fixed monthly price of 249 euro. Whim, which was released in October in the Helsinki region, is initially available for a limited group of test users, as new features will be added throughout the rest of this year. A pay as you go alternative will also be introduced towards the end of 2016 for an opportunity to test the service without commitment.
”HRT and MaaS Global have signed HRT’s first pilot contract with a private company to provide door to door mobility services together. It will be fascinating to see what kind of customers these new mobility packages will attract. Hopefully that will include people who haven’t found public transport alone tempting enough to leave their cars at home. Based on this experience we may expand our collaboration to other mobility service providers, too,” HRT Executive Director Suvi Rihtniemi says.
The CEO and Founder of MaaS Global, Sampo Hietanen, is known internationally as the father of the entire MaaS concept. The core idea of the concept is that one convenient service fulfills all our daily mobility needs.
”We want to realise people’s dreams of true freedom of mobility,” Hietanen says. ”HRT’s bold and open-minded move confirms Helsinki and Finland’s position as a pioneer in mobility services. HRT is a fine example to international transport providers. Our shared goal is to offer a viable alternative to today’s car owners, which enables them to combine public transport and a car as needed.”
MaaS Global and Whim have been the object of growing international attention. As well as being recently featured in media like The Economist and New York Times, they have received Smart City awards in both Finland and Sweden. Whim is the world’s first and only monthly mobility service of its kind.