The Government has recently published a new code of practice to help organisations involved in Mobility as a Service schemes in the UK to better navigate the many technical and commercial challenges faced. Intended for MaaS platform providers, transport operators and local authorities, this guidance offers specific technical and regulatory advice, and sets out the Government’s ambitions for MaaS and its position on key areas such as accessibility and inclusion, enabling active and sustainable travel, data, multimodal ticketing, consumer protection and competition.
MaaS is defined by the Department for Transport as “the integration of various modes of transport along with information and payment functions into a single mobility service” and its application is currently best demonstrated through mobility apps and platforms which integrate and provide users with personalised multi-modal travel planning and unified payment or subscription models.
In her opening keynote presentation at TRANSPORT Smart Class, London & South East England 2023, Meera Nayyar – DfT’s Head of Mobility and Passenger Experience – explained why a MaaS code of practice is necessary and explored what is in the code, the principal recommendations and next steps.
Meera also took us through MaaS benefits and barriers, and highlighted some of the technologies and services being deployed (e.g. Drone trials, Smart ticketing, MaaS, Shared mobility, E-scooters, Mobility hubs, Car clubs and E-cargo bikes) in the 4 DfT funded “Future Transport Zones”, including the Solent FTZ covering Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight.
Summary of presentation highlights:
- What is Mobility as a Service?
- Examples of MaaS Apps – Solent Transport – Breeze; Helsinki, Finland – Whim; Highlands and Islands, Scotland – Go-Hi;
- Future Transport Zones – £92 million invested in 4 different regional locations to trial new technologies and services including Drone trials, Smart ticketing, MaaS, Shared mobility, E-scooter services, Mobility hubs, Car Clubs, E-cargo bikes etc;
- FTZ’s enable freedom on spending decisions for local leaders and help commercialisation and scaling up. Private sector heavily involved in deployment and commercial operation;
- MaaS Benefits – e.g. Greater freedom and choice for the user; Greater access to healthcare, jobs, and linking up communities including those in rural areas; improved commercial viability of services by joining up modes; Improved efficiency and accessibility of the transport system through better use of data; Help to meet net zero targets through sustainable travel;
- MaaS Barriers – e.g. Viability of MaaS business models; Lack of data sharing across modes; Behaviour change and lack of public knowledge/understanding; Complexities of multimodal ticketing; Digital exclusion;
- Why a Code of Practice? The development and growth of MaaS platforms, and integration efforts more generally, is not straightforward. The challenges are complex, and there was the need to understand what good government support looks like. Following a public consultation and responses from a range of MaaS platform providers, transport operators, local authorities and charities, it was clear that a voluntary, guidance-based approach would help MaaS stakeholders to better navigate a range of complex systems and regulatory frameworks. A voluntary approach also allows Government to support MaaS as it grows without making decisions that could stifle innovation;
- What is in the Code? Accessibility and inclusion; Enabling active and sustainable travel; Data considerations to facilitate MaaS; Multimodal ticketing; Consumer protection; Competition;
- Examples of Recommendations – That MaaS platform providers proactively identify and engage with users who have protected characteristics that may be adversely impacted by platform design choices; that Maas platforms consider accessibility needs when suggesting routes e.g. identifying wheelchair-accessible routes and stations, calculating step-free journeys by default and considering needs of users with visual, audible ad non-visible disabilities; that MaaS platforms display the health benefits of active travel to users e.g. by calculating calories burned when walking or cycling; that MaaS platforms display active travel choices for routes offered, where appropriate, and ensure these options are clearly signposted to users etc;
- What Next? Keeping the code up to date; Evaluating findings from the Future Transport Zones; Conducting further research
If you meet our regular delegate qualification criteria but were unable to join us at Greencoat Place Conference Centre, London, for the live in-person event on October 17th, CLICK HERE and complete the short “Download form” (located at the bottom of the post) to receive a unique link enabling free access to the presentation video recordings and slides (including the film footage and slides from Meera’s keynote).
Those qualifying to receive the rich presentation content from this event include commissioning, procurement, trialling, partnering and policy leads, senior influencers, strategic decision makers and planners from local authorities (e.g. city, borough, metropolitan, district and county councils); public transport operators; regional transport partnerships, sub-regional transport bodies, combined authorities, integrated transport authorities and passenger transport executives; highways authorities and road operators; government and supporting national transport agencies; fleet operators, parking operators, prime contractors etc.