In this fourth  podcast from the MaaS Alliance, Ben Foulser of KPMG, Scott Shepard from IoMob and Vasco Mora of the City of Lisbon discuss the role of public authorities in this new ecosystem, and what they need to do to support it and make it sustainable, viable and durable. So do cities need to regulate or de-regulate? According to Ben Foulser, the answer is probably something in the middle with a number of things to consider; customers are obviously a key element. In one thought, “cities need Mobility as a Service strategies that consider all these attributes not just the outcomes they want to achieve”.

For Scott Shepard, cities need to clarify what relationship they want with the private sector and establish sufficient regulatory frameworks as well as structure in place so that consumers can benefit from those schemes. “In 2018 and 2019, European cities and municipalities have been working quite a bit more in partnership or in concert with private mobility operators as well as other actors in the ecosystem to be able to prevent some of this tension”. For the private sector to gain permit and have access to their licensing for operations in cities, there is a need of working a bit more in symbiosis. This is the case in the Nordics and Benelux countries as well as Germany, where the private sector mobility operators pursued and joined value propositions or public-private partnerships to gain access to the urban market for operations and eventually being part of a larger MaaS ecosystem.

However, according to Vasco Mora, cities have already identified their role changing from infrastructure managers into mobility managers and are currently trying to figure out how to do it rather than what to do. Each city is different and has different views, policies and priorities, with different cultures of the people who use the services. The biggest challenge for public authorities is the data management as cities have tons of data available. It is a very thin line as it is establishing what data is really needed while complying with rules and manage it well. Lastly, in a scenario where cities are talking to different operators, all parties need common standards and language if they want to ensure a seamless service across counties and borders.

Listen to the Future MaaS podcast here.

Production team: Paul Hutton (Phinitiatives) moderation and editing, James Datson (Connected Places Catapult) content