As travel demand increases and changes, cities continue to improve the planning, development, and operation of their multimodal transportation systems and as a result, the creation of a multimodal mobility management system is necessary. The pace of technology-driven innovation from the private sector in shared transportation services, vehicles, and networks is rapid, accelerating, and filled with opportunity. At the same time, city streets are a finite and scarce resource.
The task of traffic management has predominantly been limited to re-routing of traditional car traffic, but cities are increasingly developing multimodal transport systems and services. As a result, better information and re-routing functionalities for all transport modes and users are required if cities wish to see their mobility networks balanced and optimised. During the Virtual ITS Congress, the session on Mobility Network Management explored the approach of integrating the concepts of Interactive Traffic Management and Mobility as a Service, respectively known as TM 2.0 and MaaS into a fully interactive and collaborative Network Mobility Management System. In this orchestration of mobility, mobility modes are not dealt separately as such. The key element is the travel and not the ‘travel by car’, ’travel by autonomous shuttle’ or ‘travel by bike’. There is simply a ‘traveller’. The concepts of TM 2.0 and MaaS combined provide a solution.
While MaaS is concentrated mostly on delivering mobility services to travellers, it can also be a tool for data sharing between MaaS operators, transport service providers and TM, as well as a tool to influence users’ demands and preferences for travel. Predicting and adapting to passengers’ flow variations and needs, and even being in position to nudge them with incentivization techniques could act as a means to regulate traffic flows in more modes than one within the entire mobility system. In this way public authorities can also successfully respond to the road network’s bottlenecks and address sudden incidents in real time.
Mobility Network Management is essentially multimodal and it entails the ‘orchestration’ of all mobility options in terms of routing and models available within a given region or city, by the public authorities themselves who have to adhere to their targets of green-house emissions and geo-fencing. The holistic perspective of balancing the use of all modes mobility services so as to optimize the mobility network and not only the individual sub-systems of that network will result in a balanced flow of mobility with no delays and bottlenecks.
The basic components considered in the scope of Multimodal Mobility Management are:
- Public Transport Services (bus, light rail, heavy rail, ferries, etc.)
- Road Network Management set of actors (TMCs, Road operators, Service Providers, OEMs, Infrastructure service providers)
- Sharing and Short-Term Vehicle Rental (both point to point and station networks)
- Mobility as a Service (MaaS) / Mobility-on-Demand (MOD)
- Road User Charging Mechanisms (including Congestion charging, low emissions zones and zone access control)
- Autonomous Transport Systems
- Freight and Logistics
- Drones and Low Altitude Aerial Mobility
Combining data, information and several mechanisms of traffic management with those available in the realm of MaaS providers and operators, we can reach the desired optimization in mobility management.
The joint workshop organized in February 2020 by TM2.0 and MaaS Alliance on ‘MaaS and Multimodal Mobility & Traffic Management’, provided the basis for the discussion that took place during the Virtual ITS Session. The integration of Traffic Management (TM) and Mobility as a Service (MaaS) into a single operational framework with the purpose of delivering Multimodal Mobility Management and services and the conclusion of the Report of this workshop can be found in www.tm20.org.
The Report concluded that in order to achieve a point of collaboration between Traffic Management, Maas (including Public Transport) and the individual user, there needs to be a robust business case that can achieve the TM 2.0 Win(public)-Win(private)-Win(user) scenario for both the MaaS and TM 2.0 stakeholders. An effective collaboration would demand information, data and priorities to be shared bi-directionally between the parties consisting of the two groups of stakeholders.
It is essential to set aside vehicle management and transport management and prioritise on the user’s mobility management. The user should be the main focal point of mobility since he/she creates added value on the consumed services. Multimodal Mobility Management, needs to focus on congestion and flows of different transport modes including private cars, public transport, ride-hailing and taxis, shared cars, bikes, micro mobility vehicles, walking and urban air vehicles.
The two key objectives to serve as a basis for any future business structure planning are:
- The collaboration between public entities (for example: TM agency, PT Operators, city administration) as well as between public and private stakeholders should be based on clear business rules for data sharing, responsibilities and end user contacting, which should be facilitated by governance model and knowledge management tools
- The end user engagement which is essential for the market success
The incentives for the transition to the novel Mobility Network Management are decarbonisation, sustainability, multimodality and quality services for the traveller. Such transition has to be based on the alignment of the different objectives of the various stakeholders and most importantly on the cooperation of TM and MaaS operations within the mobility system as a whole.