Mobility-as-a-service isn’t quite there yet, but cities are vying to bring the technology up-to-speed to allow for it to become a reality. MaaS means fully integrated mobility, as well as integrated public transit in even the largest, most bustling cities. Here’s how the MaaS movement is going to bring integrated public transit to cities.
Maas and integrated public transit
The future Public Transit Journey
As it stands today, public transit offers a solution for one leg of a journey in which the passenger will need to get to the departure station and their final destination with another means of transportation, unless one or both points are accessible on foot.
In the future, MaaS will transform this journey, making public transit integrated with connecting journeys on either side through technology like an app on your smartphone.
Picture this: You start your journey by inputting your destination into your smartphone app, which connects you with a nearby car2go vehicle to get you to your local rail or metro station. Once parked, your smartphone app tells you when the next train will be arriving, ensuring you are on the platform at the correct time and allowing you to use the time in-between to grab a coffee or use a restroom. Once your train arrives downtown, your app connects you with a nearby bikesharing dock, allowing you to ride the final kilometer of your journey to your final destination.
The benefits of integrated transit
As you can see, the integrated public transit journey of the future provides much fewer lags and potential frustrations. Some of the benefits that the MaaS movement will bring to public transit include:
- Tailored logistics: Instead of having to do your own research and calculations, your app will provide you with near-instant, tailored logistics that are always the most efficient way to reach your destination.
- Accurate departure and arrival times: It can be difficult to determine your on-time arrival when calculating various dis-integrated forms of transportation; the app will quickly calculate and provide accurate departure and arrival times for you.
- Per trip pricing: Each trip from start to finish will be condensed into one price, giving the user an accurate idea of the entire cost of their commuting journey.
- Easy payments: Instead of fumbling in your wallet for your metro card or searching for coins, you will be billed at the end of each month via your app which is connected to your credit card. The monthly billing will be made up of each trip taken from start to finish.
- A seamless experience: Because of the aspects above, such as app-enabled billing and accurate logistics, the entire transit experience will be much more seamless and enjoyable.
- Reduce car ownership and carbon emissions: If public and shared transportation were more efficient, how many people would forego car ownership and lessen their greenhouse gas emissions in the process? A policy paper published by Polis argued this would be the main benefit of integrated public transit.
Public and Private sectors blurring
Public and private sector transportation services are starting to blur as MaaS becomes a more prominent reality on the horizon, signifying that cities need to prepare for its arrival. For example, the TTC recently started sharing the GPS data of its vehicles, allowing for the creation of multiple apps from private companies that tell passengers exactly when the next bus or streetcar will turn the corner and arrive at their stop.
While private companies have taken the lead on the MaaS movement thus far, it is predicted that we will see much more public sector, operator presence, and public-private partnerships to further the MaaS movement in 2018.
We also anticipate that the bikeshare industry will be upgraded with the rollout of electric bikes in 2018, which only further enhances bikeshare as an integrated mode of transportation in MaaS. Interested in learning more? Contact us for a compilation of the latest MaaS research here.