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Mobility as a Service to support sustainable travel behaviour

Mobility services (Mobility as a Service - MaaS) can revolutionise transportation and have impact on sustainable transport-related behaviour. The MaaS concept bundles different transport services, such as public transport, carsharing, etcetera, into integrated service offers as a means to provide a more complete alternative to private ownership.

For the traveller (user), MaaS can simplify daily life where the entire household’s transport is offered via one and the same subscription, with increased flexibility and price worthiness, improved access to transport and related offers, as well as the ability to more easily match one’s choice of transport mode to each individual trip’s context. It can provide a way to more easily test different transport modes, e.g. electric mopeds or electric bikes, and other new transport-related behaviours.  MaaS can also be a way to have access to a car without having to own a car, including all that entails such as expensive insurance, parking, inspections, tire changes, etc. for a product that is standing still parked the majority of the time. 

MaaS comprises a transformation in the way we consume (and produce) passenger transportation. By purchasing mobility as a service, MaaS can, in principle, help individual travellers meet their transportation needs by shifting to more environmentally friendly and active modes such as public transport, cycling and walking.  MaaS acknowledges the need for car-based travel, but encourages the use of shared modes in place of low-occupancy and privately owned vehicles.

At present, MaaS is a concept garnering much interest in both the transport industry and cities/regions, with several pilots and initiatives underway, both in Sweden and internationally. Pilots provide the opportunity to empirically investigate key issues linked to the development of the MaaS concept and travel behaviour, such as:

  • How do MaaS services affect traveller’s behaviours e.g. mode choice, travel patterns, car ownership/use and even type and area of residence. How does MaaS affect household behaviours and how transport is negotiated within the household?
  • How can MaaS be designed to both stimulate sustainable travel behaviour and meet travellers’ needs? How do the local context, the service’s offer/incentives, and the traveller’s behaviour interrelate?
  • How can MaaS be developed to meet the needs of different user groups? Which motives and barriers exist for different user groups to become MaaS users?
  • How can MaaS be developed to fulfil transportation needs in different geographical contexts (e.g. urban vs. rural areas, international roaming, etc.). 
  • What are the practical implications of MaaS with regard to urban developments and the built environment? How can MaaS be integrated into new as well as existing areas?
  • What are the sustainability impacts of MaaS (ecological, economic, and social), and what types of trade-offs exist between different sustainability criteria?
  • How can MaaS be offered in different ways, e.g. directly to customers, to employees via employers, or via other channels?  
  • How can the MaaS offer expand to include other types of services?
  • How can different models (e.g. demand models, choice models) be developed for MaaS?


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