ITS (UK)’s Mobility as a Service (MaaS) Interest Group has responded to the Transport Select Committee’s MaaS inquiry agreeing that there is significant global and UK interest in the concept, but that, unless done right, it could actually risk moving people from public transport to on-demand cars.
The group, led by representatives from Jacobs, Cubic, and AECOM, said that while there are not enough use-cases yet to analyse potential effectiveness, several UK and European pilot projects should start providing evidence in the near future.
The inquiry focussed on potential barriers to delivering MaaS and the response sought to manage expectations, warning, “A MaaS App on its own is not a magic bullet. It must offer access to high quality, reliable services in order to get people to use it. There are no existing examples of a high quality ticketing system used by a poor quality transport provider leading to increased ridership.”
When responding to questions about barriers to implementation, the group pointed to issues with local authority resources, real-time information, and private sector motivation. They also pointed to the need for effective Government advice and regulation if a nationwide solution is to be delivered, and that modelling has shown that using MaaS solutions actually cost more if a customer still has a private car. Concerns over social exclusion were also discussed.
However the group pointed to the undoubted opportunities of positioning the UK as a global leader in the delivery of MaaS which represents a very significant change in how transport users access services.
Group chair Andrew Pearce said, “What’s clear from our work is that MaaS can have positive or negative effects – the scale and direction of the benefits is down to participation: it’s a team sport where specific contributions are needed from private sector, local and central government – if one party takes over it will fail or be distorted with unwanted effects for the network”
ITS (UK) Secretary General Jennie Martin said, “Once again, thanks to our wide variety of members and their complementary knowledge and skills, ITS (UK) has been able to respond to a Government request with an informed, focussed set of comments which will help ministers and officials make the right choices to deliver another exciting transport technology innovation.”