How could investors help co-design future transport policies? How would they get the return on their investment? This episode of the “Future MaaS” podcast series by the MaaS Alliance, Tara Shirvani, Green Technologies, Smart Systems and Electric Vehicles Lead for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Reilly Brennan, General Partner at Trucks Venture Capital; Mark Platshon, Executive Advisor at Acario Ventures; and James Datson, Government Relationship Manager at Connected Places Catapult and Board Member of the MaaS Alliance continue the conversation about investing in MaaS.
To read about and listen the first part of this podcast on investing in MaaS, click here.
This podcast takes a global look at the opportunities for investors to capitalise on MaaS growth. We look here at the different roles and markets. According to James Datson, putting together policy objectives and goals to shape a big and complex market, such as mobility, brings very conflicting and challenging priorities. To co-design future MaaS policy, the public and private sector must work better together, and this should be the focus of the next 5-10 years.
Mark Platshon agrees that for public-private partnerships to work, the private body can push and accelerate change on the government side. If it is true that governments do not lead, citizens can, according to Reilly Brennan. They can be part of this change with their understanding and drive demand for different options. According to him a policy lead is one of the most important figures in many urban technology initiatives, and great policy experts are in high demand in the market. But the situation is quite different in other markets such as developing and EU accession countries. Tara Shirvani explains that in these contexts, the work of the public and private operators, and public and private entities, goes more hand in hand. In these countries, empowering regulatory frameworks is more urgent; it is not always for the private sector to lead, it really depends on the local and national context.
When it comes return in investment, the transport mobility market is a trillion dollar global market. For James Datson, there is a huge opportunity to monetize on the choices of how we travel and believes traditional public transport operators will remain important players in the future of mobility. However, we should continue to subsidise public transport, as Reilly Brennan suggests – we do subsidise other important services for our citizens. But this doesn’t mean that we cannot have private operators make profit, this is perfectly fine. For Tara Shirvani, it is going to take a while until subsidies will not be necessary and there remains great potential to combine new mobility services to give customers more of what they really want.