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Mobility as a Service (MaaS)

03 April 2020

The DfT wants to know what regulatory barriers stand in the way of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platforms that provide a one-stop-shop for journey information and ticket purchase through an app.

The first question in the MaaS section of the regulatory review asks, “in the development of Mobility as a Service platforms, what should be the role of local authorities, central government, or other transport authorities?”

MaaS requires service timetabling and fares data to be interoperable and available to platform providers, along with the ability for consumers to purchase tickets digitally. 

“There are often commercial or regulatory arrangements between MaaS platform providers and mobility providers underpinning access to this data that regulation needs to be aligned with,” says the DfT.  

“One possible risk is that incumbent mobility providers with market power could refuse to deal with MaaS platform providers, with the intention of restricting competition, limiting disruptive innovation, and preserving profits. 

“What competition concerns do you think Mobility as a Service might present that could be difficult to address through existing regulations?” the DfT asks.

“We also recognise the use of MaaS platforms could present a potential risk to accessibility, particularly if they do not allow users to specify they are disabled. For example, for users who require wheelchair accessible vehicles or an assistance dog on their journey, there may not necessarily be an option to communicate this with the mobility operator.

“Given the wide range of regulation underpinning transport services, we will also consider whether guidance or a code of practice would be useful to clarify the roles and responsibilities for different levels of government, mobility providers and MaaS platform providers.” 

The DfT asks if standardisation and interoperability of data, for example routing, ticketing and timetabling data, is needed to deliver MaaS. 

In this respect, the British Standards Institute is carrying out a scoping study to map the existing data landscape and explore whether current standards are fit-for-purpose in the Government’s ‘Future of Transport’ context.  

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