Mobily as a Service has disrupted how we make transport decisions. Although the concept remains in its infancy, platforms to access public transport (Citymapper), taxis (Uber), and even bikes (Jump) and scooters (Bird) are well established.
These platforms enable people to better plan journeys and book and pay via an app. By planning journeys and dipping in to transport options only when needed, it provides cost savings (no maintenance or running costs) and greater flexibility over private car ownership, while also having environmental benefits.
MaaS currently targets larger urban areas where there is greater opportunity for convenient, multi modal travel to replace personal car journeys.
According to ABI Research by 2030 MaaS will be a trillion-dollar industry, but where are the opportunities?
While MaaS often focuses on solving global or municipal challenges, the one-size-fits-all style platform deployed at scale, at the other extreme you have micromobility.
Micromobility seeks to address issues experienced at local level, offering custom solutions that address the needs of specific user groups. Typically, it will involve small and single person transport options or responsive group or public transportation.
Micromobility better addresses the potential shortcomings of mainstream MaaS, such as reliable availability of services where secondary options don’t exist, meaning the shared economy can thrive outside urban centres.
First mile/last mile
The first mile/last mile challenge concerns journeys to and from hubs (such as remote stations or business districts) and applies to goods as well as people. Augmenting shared transport services, such as buses and trains, with structured micromobility options makes these difficult to reach hubs accessible by more sustainable means.
Forward thinking employers facing pressure to more efficiently use car parks, or reduce the environmental impact of their operations, are already investing in shared mobility solutions for the exclusive use of staff and visitors. A trend we expect to continue.
To remain relevant MaaS will need to be responsive and moreover, planners will need to adapt their thinking to better fit the demands of the populations they’re serving.
It’s clear that the data produced through use will be invaluable in solving mobility challenges and improving how our cities and neighbourhoods operate.
This article by James Datson, leader of MaaS for the government’s Transport System Catapult, explains the need for data sharing and likens it to the prisoner’s dilemma, but we live in hope that our changing habits will create an environment where shared mobility takes priority and becomes the vehicle of choice over personal transportation.
Talk to Eastpoint about the work we’re doing in mobility and intelligent transport systems.