I believe that MaaS - as a highly efficient mobility concept - has the potential to bring numerous advantages to cities. It can change the mobility behaviour of users by providing personalised mobility options and services that meet journey-specific needs. Overall, it makes different modes of mobility more accessible to users (“one-stop shop” mobility). Cities benefit from the social and ecological approach of MaaS, which is reflected in open, non-discriminatory access providing an alternative to privately owned cars, for example by introducing gamification elements that reward sustainable mobility usage. This results in better use of the scarce public space in cities and has a positive impact on the environment.
By combining new mobility modes with traditional services such as public transport, the MaaS concept clearly supports a paradigm shift in urban mobility. Consequently, it enables cities to lower CO2 and NO2 emissions, congestion, and pollution. This regional approach can form part of a global initiative: Sustainable Development Goal 11 of the United Nations is to “Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. Regarding mobility, the levers are better planning of the offering, more information about vehicle utilisation and seamless (digital) access to all modes of transportation.
As a result, it becomes easier and more attractive to use alternative modes of transportation to the privately owned car. Affordable and sustainable mobility options are one crucial element in achieving the entirety of the 17 UN SDGs – also called the Agenda 2030!
Besides enabling new business models, the use of data can also have a positive impact on the traditional core business of public transport companies. Analyses of people’s mobility needs can enable data-driven decisions on planning where routes make sense, at what time and with which capacity. These analytics can be a first step in setting up a demand-responsive transport (DRT) system, which can be much more efficient than the traditional mobility offering of the past.
Alongside the data analytics, the set-up and operation of DRT systems feed into the overall concept of MaaS. Mobimeo, with its sister companies ioki and CleverShuttle, provides an integrated offering of all three elements.
A MaaS system fundamentally involves several complementary stakeholders and partners.
In addition to being the MaaS platform operator, who runs the platform and implements a wide range of mobility service providers (public and private), we at Mobimeo connect different routing suppliers and ticketing systems. We also make use of third-party services from other technical partners, e.g. for parking probabilities, into our platform.
Especially in Germany, we notice a vast fragmentation of the different public transport providers concerning tariffs, the digital systems used and organisational structures. To deal with this initial situation appropriately, projects that push for a technical standardisation, for example by introducing product and control modules (PCM), will help. Nevertheless, we acknowledge that an openness to regional specificities such as sources for real time data is a relevant factor to meet user needs for the best available information. Our platform provides the necessary interfaces for their integration. Together, these elements result in a stable, scalable and future-proof solution that minimises risks with regards to costs and implementation.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen many companies, including those in the new- and micro-mobility sector, suspending or slowing down operations. Fundamental demands from the users – such as finding supplements to public transportation, especially for the first and the last mile, as well as alternatives to the privately owned car – will persist long after the pandemic subsides. We are convinced that the mobility industry must engage with disruptive innovations such as DRT systems, multimodal transport and the development of electric vehicles. These developments will continue to represent a completely new kind of mobility ecosystem and will certainly reshape the market in 2022 and beyond.
Isabelle Linicus is Head of Business Development and Partner Management at Mobimeo. With her deep knowledge of the mobility sector and its stakeholders, she and her team define Mobimeo’s Go-To-Market approach.