Mobility as a Service

Its acronym is MaaS

What does the concept "Mobility as a Service" refer to?

Sometimes abbreviated as MaaS, Mobility as a Service is a concept defined by the pooling of mobility solutions into a service. The goal is to reduce the use of personal transport means, such as cars, focusing instead on an optimized network to ensure smoothing-running traffic flows.

The principle of Mobility as a Service concerns both private and public infrastructures. To bestow more credibility upon this pooling system, it is essential for a coherent and high-performance alternative to be offered to users. This namely requires a single ticketing system for all transport means, such as the town’s subway lines or bus networks.

The choice of a MaaS system also relies on the interconnected nature of all transport means. This is only made possible if the various multimodal or intermodal solutions available along the way are kept informed in real time.

The concept of Mobility as a Service in 5 key points

With a view to offering a unified mobility offer, the Mobility as a Service system relies on 5 main criteria:

  • Pooling all transport infrastructures: bikes, subways, buses, tram lines, etc.;

  • Communicating any and all information to users via mobile applications and dedicated tools;

  • Encouraging price integration, in the form of a subscription, flat-rate or combined ticket;

  • Making the offer coherent within a specific location: a town, its agglomeration or an inter-city area;

  • Making sure that public and personal data is kept open, for efficient roll-out.

It should be noted that Mobility as a Service takes into account the likely discrepancies between territories or even countries. This includes the legislation in force, as well as urban development policies. Democratizing payment methods via smartphones or online platforms will be a key challenge in developing MaaS within set urban zones.

Examples and practical applications

Applying Mobility as a Service in a practical setting indubitably means rendering dedicated applications accessible. Services may include an itinerary calculator, an online mapping service, or a support tool for travelling around urban areas. Regardless of the operation required and the offer chosen, information needs to be processed reactively, so a relevant solution can be presented to users. This solution will revolve around each person’s needs, resources and transport habits.

For instance, the Finnish start-up Whim has truly spear-headed Mobility as a Service in its home country. Late 2017, the roll-out of an MaaS solution in Helsinki was launched. Users now have an application used to define their journey, pay and inform themselves on the various means of transport available. In France, the agglomeration of Annemasse - counting a dozen towns - or Mulhouse and its association with 33 neighboring towns have already delved into similar projects. Added to this are services informing users of where they can park, and where the nearest carpooling areas are located.

Mobility as a Service in figures

It seems that 75% of the French population use their cars on a daily basis. Only 10% use public transport. As such, integrating Mobility as a Service would aim to reverse that trend and offer an appealing, eco-friendly and economical solution. We consider that a French citizen travels 24 km per day, compassing three main journeys. In just a year, this represents 2 tons of CO² emitted per person.

(Source: https://www.statistiques.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/enquete-sur-la-mobilite-des-personnes-2018-2019

https://www.linfodurable.fr/conso/75-des-trajets-domicile-travail-se-font-en-voiture-souvent-en-solo-comment-se-deplacer-mieux

https://www.tns-sofres.com/publications/les-francais-et-les-transports-en-commun)

Regulatory cornerstones

  • European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

  • Transport Code

  • Regulations on passenger transport

  • Mobilities bill

  • Decree 2015-1610 dated 8 December 2015 pertaining to the type of urban transport service used