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For Mobility-as-a-Service to prosper, it must meet mutual needs

This article has been put together by Conduent Transportation to answer the question inferred in the title: what do stakeholders want and what are commuters, transport providers and local authorities looking for from MaaS?

Jade Neville
10 May 2023
UITP model of MaaS
Jade Neville
Jade Neville

 

Mobility-as-a-Service has been a tagline used for many years with most towns and cities still unsure of what it means to them and how they can integrate it into their existing infrastructure, as well as the new transport options now becoming regularly available, such as bike share, car share and scooters.

Travel expectations of the commuter also continue to change with on-demand services being at the touch of a button. While service providers are continually required to keep up with commuter and market needs, while ensuring they deliver a high quality service to all stakeholders.

The commuter

Cities are still polluted and congested after the CO2 emissions peak in 2018. One of the reasons for this is that cars are often still the best door-to-door solutions in cities. The Committee on Climate Change, in its Local Authorities and the Sixth Carbon Budget report, stated that “more than half of the emissions cuts needed rely on people and businesses taking up low-carbon solutions – decisions that are made at a local and individual level.”

Many experts argue that MaaS solutions must be built around travellers’ key expectations if commuter behaviour is to change. These expectations include trust (accurate, real-time travel information, reliable transportation); simplicity (convenient, joined-up and easy-to-use modes of transport); impartiality (access to all); and flexibility (adaptable to changing needs).

I would add fulfilment. Commuters, who change not only want to make a difference – to reduce pollution, congestion and their own carbon emissions – they want proof that they are having an impact. MaaS that can’t demonstrate the effect of change is missing an opportunity.

It is important to focus on simplicity. If MaaS is seen to be overwhelmingly complex, it will dissuade all but the most determined. That’s why the role of the integrators, such as, Conduent Transportation in developing an open platform linking backend providers to frontend customers is crucial.

The transport provider

What do providers want? First and foremost, they are likely to want to know they have a role to play in this shifting world of mobility. Transport providers have traditionally had a one-to-one and direct relationship with the user, which is changing. While service providers have sat behind the local authority and delivered services on their behalf.

MaaS is an ecosystem that requires cooperation with transport providers and local authorities but also with competitors, too. Providers want to know that their intellectual property will be protected, especially when data-sharing is encouraged for the greater good.

It is also important to understand that as service providers we can all play a part in the commuter journey. From rural areas most journeys will start with the car. So integration is needed with car park operators, so the user knows where parking is available, how much it will cost and where they will pick up the next leg of their journey.

The driver may also make decisions based on road user charging schemes on a specific route or whether CCTV enforcement, such as bus lane enforcement could assist in supporting an alternative form of transport earlier in their journey, rather than driving to their final location.

Parking will play a critical role in how people and goods move around our towns and cities, both from traditional parking management of those who car where they shouldn’t or in the rules associated with where you are able to park and for how long.

The local authority

What do providers want? First and foremost, they are likely to want to know they have a role to play in this shifting world of mobility. Transport providers have traditionally had a one-to-one and direct relationship with the user, which is changing. While service providers have sat behind the local authority and delivered services on their behalf.

MaaS is an ecosystem that requires cooperation with transport providers and local authorities but also with competitors, too. Providers want to know that their intellectual property will be protected, especially when data-sharing is encouraged for the greater good.

It is also important to understand that as service providers we can all play a part in the commuter journey. From rural areas most journeys will start with the car. So integration is needed with car park operators, so the user knows where parking is available, how much it will cost and where they will pick up the next leg of their journey. The driver may also make decisions based on road user charging schemes on a specific route or whether CCTV enforcement, such as bus lane enforcement could assist in supporting an alternative form of transport earlier in their journey, rather than driving to their final location.

Parking will play a critical role in how people and goods move around our towns and cities, both from traditional parking management of those who car where they shouldn’t or in the rules associated with where you are able to park and for how long.

What others are doing

Brussels has started this process with SmartMove, a project that rests on 3 pillars: a smart automobile tax system, a growing network of mobility alternatives, and an app that helps you every step of the way. The city that the Brussels government envisions is one that is more liveable, healthier and more prosperous for those who live and work there, and for all who visit. Better mobility plays a crucial role in this.

It also understands that traffic plays a major part of this and wanted a way to charge based on car use rather than car ownership. Brussels is in the process of rolling out a scheme that will introduce “cost per mile” travelled within the city, while offering a wide range of quality mobility alternatives.

The cost per mile travelled will consider three variables: time of day, distance and engine power, with alternatives offered and savings for change in time of day and transport method used being presented to the commuter.

In France, Syndicat Mixte Intermodal Régional de Transports (SMIRT) represents 14 separate local transportation authorities and covers a population in excess of three million people across the northern region. When SMIRT wanted to simplify the passenger experience and increase the attractiveness of public transport, it asked Conduent to help. Using the Conduent Mobility Companion Platform, we helped create PassPass (passpass.fr) which offers door-to-door trip planning that not only combines public bus and train transportation but includes bike hire and carpooling as well. The service plans routes based on an array of factors including speed of overall journey, number of connections, maximum walking time, price and carbon footprint.

This is MaaS in action. This is Mobility-as-a-Service as defined by UITP, as: “The integration of, and access to, different transport services… in one single digital mobility offer, with active mobility and an efficient public transport system as its basis.”

While in Helsinki, the Finnish capital has an ambition to be private car-free by 2025. To meet that goal, Helsinki is developing a mobility on demand app that functions as both journey planner and universal payment platform. To ensure a successful outcome, it must fulfil the mutual needs of commuter, provider and local authority. Watch this space.

Let’s start with the kerb

For parking operations, we need to be involved in these conversations locally and share the critical nature of how important it is to manage the kerb successfully with local stakeholders to meet the needs of the service providers and the commuters.

We often see that “car is king” and hear people say they would rather be sat in traffic in their own car than be on a busy train. We need to find innovative ways to break this down and maybe the management of the kerb is a good place to start?

The uses of the kerb are almost infinite but the space available is not. The competition for the limited kerb space in our towns and cities is not new, but it has changed. While parking may have dominated this space, the number of alternative uses has grown dramatically in recent years. The emergence of today’s new transportation modes like electric scooters and shared bicycles place increased strain on the kerb. The potential deployment of new service offerings, such as autonomous vehicles, would only intensify this.

Low cost or even free parking in our towns and cities makes it an attractive proposition for the commuter, leading to additional pollution, road traffic accidents, and emissions. However, with the support of net zero initiatives, local authorities can and should strive to shift the balance, by reallocating some of the space from traditional parking bays to other functions. These could include bike parking, loading zones, bus lanes, and spaces for car-sharing.

Changing the traffic order may not be easy but could be worth the effort. By re-prioritising the kerb towards more active, equitably accessible uses, it could make the town or city a safer, healthier, greener, and more vibrant place for all the people who call it home.

Jade Neville is ead of User Experience, EMEA, Conduent Transportation

Conduent Transportation is a leading provider of automated and analytics-based smart mobility solutions for government agencies. These solutions span roadway charging and management, parking and kerbside management, and advanced transit and public safety systems. Our intelligent kerbside management systems enable an improved customer experience and provide operational efficiencies by augmenting the integration of people, technology and data for our customers and drivers.
transportation.conduent.com

Head of Transport Strategy
East Midlands Combined County Authority

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Head of Transport Strategy
East Midlands Combined County Authority

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East Midlands Combined County Authority

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