Riders have always relied on traditional mass transit schedules to bring order and consistency to their travel. But with the bustling pace of modern life, peoples’ opinions—and needs—have changed.
Instead of dealing with limited time slots for rides or maintenance costs for personal vehicles, mobility as a service—or MaaS—is becoming a popular alternative. With its flexibility and convenience, riders can travel on their schedules. But what is mobility as a service, and why should your agency use it? Discover its potential for your agency.
What is mobility as a service (MaaS)?
Simply put, MaaS is the concept of on-demand transportation, where a single digital platform offers riders the most efficient, seamless connection from point A to point B possible. By combining and coordinating various modes of transportation services, riders can effortlessly reach their destination at any time of the day or night.
This shift away from individually owned transportation not only lowers household expenses and eliminates the headache of personal car troubles, but it also helps transportation providers optimize the usage of their fleets.
From a single app, riders and drivers alike will have their travel needs met through various modes of transportation, such as:
- Fixed route
- On-demand ride-hailing and ride-sharing
- Bicycles, scooters, and more
What does MaaS look like?
Ideally, a rider will open a mobile app where they can search, book, and pay for the entire trip based on a filtered set of preferences. The software calculates the best route and modes of transportation, then delivers the most efficient options in real time.
And payment? Even easier! Whether choosing a pay-per-trip or monthly subscription model, passengers would make a single payment regardless of the number of providers being used.
Why should you care about mobility as a service?
Now that you know what mobility is as a service, it’s time for the part you’ve been scrolling for: the innovative benefits of mobility as a service for you and your agency. For one, it’s growing—and growing fast. According to Pedro Pacheco, senior research director at Gartner’s CIO Research Group, the MaaS market will be valued at more than $372 billion by 2026, making a noticeable leap from the $42 billion industry it represented in 2018.
And why wouldn’t it? MaaS is the future. Imagine a trip or vacation where you no longer have to plan every leg of the journey separately. A completely tailored travel experience handled by a digital platform that provides a fluid, integrated experience with everything from real-time information to payment processing. Not only is it a giant time-saver, but there are even bigger advantages offered.
With unparalleled accessibility at your fingertips, user preferences ensure there are no surprises as you travel. Use a wheelchair? Get real-time notifications about lift outages. Want to avoid particularly crowded vehicles? Journey planners will direct you to routes with the least number of people. And the list goes on.
Think of the money saved when you no longer have to pay for individual tickets and fares. MaaS will provide service packages to consumers based on price negotiations with service providers. Instead of paying separate operators, customers will be able to treat transportation more like a mobile contract where they pay as they go.
An extra benefit of negotiations is provider competition, which may result in a reduced cost on the consumer’s end.
With the ultimate aim of being the best value proposition for riders, societies, and the environment, MaaS has a lot to live up to. But don’t worry, it’s already well on its way to exceeding those goals:
- During the pilot of Smile MaaS, more than 20 percent of participants used their own cars less.
- Among the participants in the UbiGo MaaS pilot, private car usage dropped 44 percent.
And it’s no real secret that fewer vehicles on the road would be better for the environment and traffic. Fewer cars mean reduced emissions and congestion, along with reduced restraints on transport capacity.
Take your agency into the future.
Customize your travel with ease by choosing a transit scheduling software that simplifies travel for both riders and drivers. Just make sure you keep comfort, safety, and affordability at the forefront when choosing who to work with.
If mobility as a service is so great, why isn’t it already an agency standard? With such high expectations, there aren’t many organizations that can live up to the hype while delivering optimal and consistent results. But that’s where Ecolane comes in. See the difference transit scheduling software will make by requesting a demo today.
About the Author
Read Ecolane's blog articles for perspective, opinion and information on transit and paratransit issues.