Governments, traditional transport service providers and innovative businesses all over the globe are rethinking how we organise and access transportation systems. To address the rising demand on traditional transport networks, we need a new understanding of mobility. These changes are made possible by digitalisation and the comprehensive spread of smartphones. This innovative new approach is known as "Mobility as a Service" (MaaS).
It is essentially the integration of diverse forms of transport services into a unique service accessible on demand. The focus of the transportation system is no longer the service provider but rather the customer. To meet the customer's needs, MaaS offers access to all means of transport, a combination of public and private operators that comprise micro public transport systems.
MaaS aligns with the green economy and moves away from a car-based model
Beyond its advantages as a mobility solution, MaaS has further positive and promising impacts. It encompasses new business models and their respective business opportunities. In addition to customers, it benefits transport operators through improved data on users and demand. Furthermore, MaaS can offer an alternative to the use of private cars or a better – shared – use thereof. Thus, MaaS enhances sustainability, energy efficiency and climate protection. At a later stage, MaaS will enable the customer to have access to services beyond transportation.
The nexus where the public and private sectors meet
MaaS is still at the beginning of its evolution, but there is no doubt that it will be the future of our mobility. It will certainly require cooperation between the public and private sectors. The potential of MaaS is also recognised by the new Austrian government. Accordingly, the government programme 2020-2024 contains the commitment to "use Austria's innovation edge in MaaS", including the provision of MaaS architecture by the state. The government's plan includes a Shared Mobility Strategy and the possibility to use several transport operators with a single ticket. MaaS shows a great deal of promise, and it is already starting to be realised.