While previous pages focused on the needs and behaviours of individuals and groups, and therefore give a general view of ongoing and future trends in commuting, this section considers the fact that there are actors, whose agency and power make them more critical compared to mobility users. The analysis of those stakeholders, their importance, interrelations, and opinions and their role in a potential transformation of commuting schemes is done on a theoretical informed basis. This analysis is mainly based on the case comparison between the Canton of Basel-Stadt in Switzerland and the Growth Corridor Finland. The goal of this study was to provide a comprehensive approach for characterising stakeholder interactions in the area of commuting and to gain knowledge about their attitudes to new mobility solutions such as Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS). Based on the case study in Basel, a stakeholder network was created which provided helpful insights for understanding the stakeholder roles and the network structure within the decision processes in commuting. This network and the expert workshops organised in the project guided the development of the survey looking into the stakeholder viewpoints regarding different transport innovations. More information about the survey can be found in the conference paper presented at the 1st International Conference on Mobility-as-a-Service (ICoMaaS).
The starting point for this analysis was that both the notion of the need to own a car and the role of public transport in daily mobility are undergoing a transition. Especially the development of open data and mobile information platforms are changing consumer perceptions of public transport services (ITF, 2015). For example, the rising popularity of car-sharing (Shaheen & Cohen, 2016) in Europe has added real options for customers in supplementing mass transit services. These new mobility solutions are enabled and powered by a variety of societal, economic, technological, and consumer-related trends, such as urbanisation, congestion in large cities, and environmental issues of traffic (e.g., Tinnilä & Kallio, 2015).
From the viewpoint of a single transport operator, these new mobility solutions can be seen as competing offerings, but many of the regional transport authorities are already considering the sustainability of the entire public transport system. In addition, the role of regional authorities in organizing this transport is viewed differently in this transition. Some regions and countries in Europe emphasise the policy objectives of public transport authorities such as the economic growth, the space optimisation, aesthetic impacts, the congestion, the social inclusion, and the citizen well-being (e.g., Polis Network, 2017). Others see private mobility service operators as a vital part of accessibility and connectivity (e.g., MaaS Alliance, 2017), for example, in the regions facing a rapid economic change. Both viewpoints call for the transparency and the broad stakeholder participation in the development of the transport system.
While the role of cities and regional transport authorities is under debate, the consensus is that new innovative services are needed to supplement traditional mass transport services in this technological and behavioural transition (Polzin, 2016). Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) is one example of these emerging services. Private MaaS operators are currently starting their operations in urban areas with larger customer bases, but the demand-responsive transport is also seen as one of the key options to meet public transport challenges in rural areas (ITF, 2015; Hazan et al., 2016). Regions and countries with strong natural transport monopolies have witnessed a similar increase in mobility services, but they are often a part of the service offering of these natural monopolies. Regardless of the organisation of these new services, MaaS in this chapter is used to describe the change from the mobility as a self-service and from the independent development of different transport modes to a genuinely integrated mobility made possible by new digital services. In the long term, MaaS may influence the city planning, the land use, the role of public organisations, and the welfare of citizens. Therefore, this new concept has gained growing interest among all the stakeholders.
There is empirical evidence of the importance of stakeholder participation when implementing systemic innovations in different contexts. For instance, Schaffers and Turkama (2012) explored the transferability of systemic innovations in home care and independent living, energy efficiency, manufacturing networks and citizen participation. According to their findings, a living lab approach (see e.g. Leminen, 2015) can be used for cases that call for the user-behaviour transformation or business-model innovations. Living labs are by nature local, addressing the needs of specific demographics and developing suitable solutions to these needs. While different MaaS offerings have so far been local, or at most connecting separated islands of urban mobility (cities) to the same offering, Kulmala and Tuominen (2015) point out that an efficient and productive transport system is an essential part of regional competitiveness, the overall economy and people’s quality of life. This viewpoint enlarges both the context and stakeholder network of sustainable mobility services beyond the scope of traditional living labs.
The collaboration networks looked into in our project (the Trinationaler Eurodistrict Basel and the Growth Corridor Finland) share the principles of openness and inclusivity, meaning that they are open to all transport actors and inclusive for all kind of users. These networks have a history in the spatial planning, the transport system development and ensuring the economic vitality of the region, but now there are indications that supporting innovations in these thematic areas are also becoming an essential task of these networks.
Next: Stakeholder network analysis in the city of Basel
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