Jointly hosted by the ITS Observatory and SPICE projects, this webinar provided a brief overview of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) for parties interested in starting or joining a MaaS scheme, and included a demonstration of how to use the ITS Observatory interactive community and information marketplace in the context of both MaaS and the SPICE project.
Funded by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 program, the two-year SPICE project (Smart Procurement for Better Transport) aims to help public authorities use smart procurement in order to facilitate a quick adoption of innovative and sustainable transport solutions. SPICE’s objective of letting public authorities share their experience with the procurement of new transport solutions – including MaaS – intersects naturally with the goals of the ITS Observatory, as participants heard during the course of the Webinar.
Sami Sahala, Intelligent Transport Systems Advisor for the City of Helsinki, addressed the challenges faced by public authorities at the city or regional level when attempting to develop MaaS solutions: ‘can I just buy one?’
‘Mobility as a Service was initially never defined in detail, so it can be almost anything… or something else’ Sami said. ‘Originally it was a vision, a change of mindset, a new culture of having the customer at the centre’.
Introducing MaaS in a city environment requires a whole new value chain involving not only public transport authorities, but also actors such as service providers or payment management companies. But where should investments be made – and what part of this value chain should public authorities cover themselves? Should cities view MaaS as a mobility service, as an extension of the public transport network, or as a neutral service aggregator for a range of private and public transport providers?
‘Some cities integrate car sharing solutions on their public transport card’, explains Sami Sahala, ‘but does it scale? Can cities make a business out of mobility services? There is no one way forward but many. We need to think of innovative procurement models to ensure that chosen solutions favour the user and do not create monopolies.’
To answer these questions, Jenni Eckhardt from VTT Technical Research offered a look at different business models for MaaS: a commercial model where the operator acts as a reseller or integrator, the national or local public transport operator model, and public-private partnerships. The integrator model, in particular, offers MaaS alongside other services, while public-private partnerships may be more suited to the needs of rural regions.
A majority of Webinar participants agree that the integrator model for Mobility as a Service (MaaS) will be the most common
Koenraad Verduyn, Solution Management Director at PTV Group, outlined a ‘Smart city of the future’ built on three key elements: the digital revolution, the change of values with regard to private car ownership, and new forms of mobility including e-hailing, intermodality and ride-sharing.
Various MaaS ecosystems can be envisioned. ‘Winner-takes-all’ optimizes profit instead of the use of available transport systems, while leaving the issue entirely to the market can only work if players are large enough to cover all the bases. However, a disaggregated model based on APIs and open platforms allows small players to join the game and provide the same level of service for their chosen customer base as large companies can.
‘MaaS is the only ecosystem that fully allows for and encourages the use of multimodal transport. There is no need to wait for autonomous vehicles, and it allows the market to be at play while avoiding market lock-in by monopolistic players,’ Koenraad explains.
In an open poll, a majority of webinar participants believe the disaggregated model will prevail.
The webinar was organised and moderated by ERTICO – ITS Europe.
ERTICO – ITS Europe
ERTICO – ITS Europe