Evaluation of MaaS value propositions

Mega-trends such as social change, urbanisation and globalisation, services and sharing economy, scarcity of resources, and technological advances are affecting societies and economy in several ways. Over past decades, public investments have been made to expand and improve mobility services across urban areas. The transport sector is moving towards advanced mobility supported by strong technology development. Despite the changes happening in ideas and concepts related to mobility, it is a challenge to attract people out of their cars to use public transport or other shared ways of travelling. There are several reasons why many people still prefer to use their own car such as multi-modal purposes for travelling, the availability of alternative ways to commute, and the convenience of travelling. The Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) concept and its several applications in many countries address these public transport challenges. MaaS is a service model that frames the mobility based on customer needs, preferences and priorities in which users major commuting needs are fulfilled and offered by a single or several mobility service providers.

The master thesis of Iman Asadi[1] focussed on the B2C value proposition offered by a selected number of MaaS providers to determine, how they differ in respect of their offerings to target users, and how they fit with the framework of an ideal mobility service provider. There are two targeted groups for the service: first, travellers who use the services for mobility purposes, and second, businesses and other sectors who cooperate with MaaS providers to run their own services and fulfil user requirements. For the analysis, a framework was built by reviewing several studies on quality indicators in transport. The following characteristics were included:

  • Transit mode options: the variety of transport modes that are integrated into a service.
  • Service availability: the coverage and possible ways to access the service.
  • Service reliability: the capability of the transport system to maintain regular headways or adhere to the schedule and a consistent travel time.
  • Information: the availability of the information that is provided by the service for planning and starting a journey.
  • Payment options: the available options for users to subscribe and pay for the service.
  • Price: the cost of using or subscribing to the service with the cost of other available options, such as a public transport and a taxi.
  • Seamlessness: providing a seamless experience for its user including all the steps for planning, choosing, paying, starting, and ending a journey.
  • Customer support: resolving possible issues and needs for help with the service making it more pleasant and easier for users.
  • Environmental and health impacts: the information provided to the users about the impacts of their travelling mode on their personal health and environments.

Four case services, including Whim, Moovel, GoLA, and Moovit, were analysed. By doing that, the performance, strengths, and weaknesses of targeted providers were identified both from the viewpoints of end users and business partners. The data was collected from information available online. In addition, a two weeks testing period for each service was used to evaluate the service availability and reliability during the period. As a result, a set of recommendations is provided to enhance and boost the MaaS development by improving and optimizing its offerings to target groups.

After the benchmark, it was clear that each of these services had some advantages and disadvantages compared to others. Although it is difficult to name a service as the best among others, Whim service in Finland fits best with the MaaS concept. It is the only service that offers several mobility modes as a monthly subscription to the user. In fact, it is the only service that, in addition to providing a seamless experience to move from point A to B, also includes all the transport options that are available in Helsinki city.

The wide range of available mobility modes and payment options in these four cases indicates the fact that MaaS’ biggest challenges for being adopted and integrated into the current transport system are the difficulties and the challenges of bringing different stakeholders and competitors to share their data and work together. It seems that those countries that are more open to support such phenomena and force or make this collaboration possible are better places for MaaS to be implemented and fully available.

MaaS has a great potential to be implemented into daily commuting. From the user’s point of view, it can address several difficulties of using the public transport service. However, there are several areas of MaaS that are unclear and make it difficult to define a concrete approach for its implementation. One of the main unclear aspects of the concept is its business model and the B2B offering. The future of MaaS depends heavily on the B2B side of the phenomenon. Defining a concrete business model for MaaS to provide a clear idea of how it benefits the stakeholders competing with each other, makes it easier for those businesses involving in MaaS to decide on implementing it into their services and thus enables MaaS growth as the solutions addressing mobility and daily commuting of travellers.

Next: Designing mobility services and solutions

 


[1] Iman Asadi (2018). Mobility as a Service. Four Case studies. Master’s thesis in the International Design Business Management master’s programme in Aalto University. http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:aalto-201806293797

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