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MaaS Market conference platform for pioneering projects

First publishedin ITS International
July 2017
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Hans Arby
Hans Arby- UbiGo.

One session of ITS International’s MaaS Market conference was dedicated to case studies of fledgling MaaS schemes. Geoff Hadwick listened in.

In opening the session on putting MaaS ideas into practice, Hans Arby, chief executive of UbiGo, told the conference that, “MaaS can mean different things to different people. This is why we decided to run MaaS under real conditions and launch the Gothenburg pilot scheme in 2013.”

The trial involved 70 households paying €130/month for 6 months with participants agreeing that 20 cars could be put into storage. More than 12,000 bookings/transactions took place during the trial and there were no drop-outs.

According to Arby, convenience was seen as the main benefit and the “reason that people wanted to carry on”. Money and the environment were important but it was the convenience of MaaS that people liked, he said, adding: “What we really need is government support for third-party on-selling of public transport tickets,”

He sees the way forward, which includes further planned trials in Stockholm, as a staged process with the law-makers.

Right now, we are on the bottom rung with “no integration and single, separate services,” he said. The next step is the “integration of information via multimodal travel planners and better pricing info.” After that, the market should look at “integration,” of both the “payment process and the contractual” side of things where operators are going to need to “bundle” their services and offer subscriptions. Finally, Arby hopes that the market can get to a position where there is proper “policy integration, good governance” and a high level of public/private co-operation enabled by the right sort of legislation.

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Levels of Integration.
UbiGo - Levels of Integration.

Arby’s co-speaker, Adam Laurell, a consultant with Samtrafiken, sees this shared responsibility as essential. The market needs a common vision in government and on the ground, he said. We are all about “re-defining public transport. In the future, public transport has to equal passenger transport services using shared resources.”

Samtrafiken, a consortium of 37 investor-owners from the public and the private sector, is set to lead a trail in Sweden aimed at “establishing a national integration platform.”

According to Laurell, “the aim is to enable and promote combined mobility services on a large scale, and third party sales in general by making PTA services available via a national access point.” The trial will “ensure a common regulatory framework. The starting point will be PTA services in Gothenburg area (Västtrafik) during 2017/2018, followed by schemes in Stockholm and Malmö in 2018/2019.”

“We want to see new combined mobility services and sales channels emerge in Sweden,” he says, and “we are searching for a technical supplier/partner for a national integration platform starting now.” The vision is to “enable the emergence of simple, sustainable and profitable combined mobility services.”

Laurell said there are still too many single occupancy vehicles and fellow panellists Michael Kieslinger, managing partner of Fluidtime Data Services and Martin Russ, managing director of AustriaTech both agreed. We need “reduced car ownership” levels and a “strengthening of public transport” to bring about a digitally-delivered MaaS market, added Russ.

“We need to change value perspectives and address people’s emotions if we are ever going to compete with the privately-owned car. And we have to put the user at the centre of it all.”

Russ has a road-map to the future which links together policy, data, business and impact (see image).

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Mobility Services

Kieslinger has a vision too. “Keep it simple,” he told the conference. “Be like Google. Show users their top four choices and their first mile and last mile options. Make it a seamless experience.”

He is working on an Austrian research project to establish an integrated mobility platform involving Austria’s two largest mobility providers - Wiener Stadtwerke and Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB). The scheme has “15 integrated transport service providers and was initially conceived under the project Smile which ran until May 2015. 

The project created a ‘Fluid Hub’ to enable cities and regions to set-up an ecosystem and open their markets for integrated mobility and MaaS deployments. “The platform links traveller demand to mobility offerings, providing them with efficient, affordable, accessible and green mobility options,” said Kieslinger.

Project objectives include socially inclusive and affordable access to mobility, fostering environmentally friendly mobility, supporting local transport offerings, managing traffic across modalities and introducing on-demand first/last mile services with reducing operational costs. This is designed to secure the transport offering in a fast-changing mobility landscape; provide integrated and seamless configurable mobility; create customer-centred offerings; create new or value-added business and profit from valuable reseller-agreements.

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MaaS RDI Roadmap - Action Areas

Ask yourself some difficult questions before you embark on a MaaS market project, Kieslinger advised the conference delegates. “Do you want to sell each other’s services? Do you want others to sell your services?”

Don’t get involved if you have not asked yourself “what is your favourite strategic/policy option? Are you open to data and API de- or re-regulation? What is your perspective on innovation? Do you have or want an open business environment?”

And, most importantly of all, know who you are dealing with … “Do you think you know enough about your customers,” Kieslinger asked?

Maybe setting up a MaaS scheme, and analysing the data it generates, will be the only reliable way to answer that one.

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Customers want seamles travel experiences

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