*This is the second of a three-part blog series about MaaS advantages and the implications of this emerging mobility-enabling advance. View municipal advantages in part 1, here. Read about MaaS futures in part 3, here.
With the advent of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) residents and travelers can expect to gain an array of valuable transportation insights at their fingertips, from a single smartphone app that will enable them use one form of payment, rather than multiple ticketing and payment methods for each transit mode used to complete their daily journeys.
Forward-thinking municipal leaders understand the mission-critical imperative to put travelers first, enabling commuters and visitors to benefit from a diverse ecosystem of mobility options and capabilities. Municipalities increasingly find that they can reduce congestion and better address public transit constraints by offering the traveling public multiple alternatives that are more convenient, sustainable, and less expensive to use.
While there is currently no single solution or provider who delivers on all of the unique travel needs of every commuter or visiting tourist, there is a growing desire among civic leaders to help travelers optimize transportation alternatives and get quickly and efficiently from ‘point A to point B.’
MaaS Traveler Benefits
The primary advantages of MaaS for travelers include:
- Real-time reliability in the ease of an app – travelers want an instant, on-demand, mobile-friendly platform that seamlessly integrates a combination of transport methods, from bike sharing to taxis to short-term car rental services. From travel planning to payment, users want to organize an entire trip with a few clicks on an app. By subscribing to an app, users also gain access to real-time passenger information at their fingertips.
- Valuable insights – City dwellers and visiting tourists alike need more and better information to ensure efficient, timely trips through and across metropolitan regions. Whether someone wants to use an e-bike to whiz around a city’s tourist attractions, or is seeking the quickest route to their next business meeting, MaaS can help them to plan routes, buy tickets and refine their journeys as they travel. Hauts-de-France Mobilités, for example, deployed PassPass (www.passpass.fr), a website and smartphone app based on Conduent Transportation’s Mobility Companion Platform (MCP) to help travelers plan their trips by entering a departure and arrival location, the date and time of travel, or preferred transportation modes. With this information, Passpass gives travelers insights on multi-modal routes, and transit partner offers to help make their journeys faster, more efficient, and affordable.
- Optimizable features – It’s crucial to note that not every traveler will want the fastest or most direct transport mode to complete their daily journeys. Instead, budget management is a key feature of MaaS for nearly everyone. MaaS provides the ability to help residents and visitors optimize travel costs across available transport modes to help users find the fastest or least expensive options.
- Enhanced safety and accessibility – making multiple transit modes safer and more accessible is also important. Access to safe transportation is a primary goal of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development initiative, for example, which focuses on providing access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems, by expanding public transport, with special attention focused on the needs of individuals in vulnerable situations, including children, persons with social difficulties, disabilities and older people.
In a world driven by consumer demand, cost and accessibility will likely determine the volume and types of transportation services likely to arise in the future.
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