The Road to MaaS – Promises, Challenges, and Future of Mobility as a Service: TRANSPORT Smart Class, North of England 2023 Retrospective


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We’ve heard the term MaaS thrown around. But what is it actually?

Part of Paragon ID, UrbanThings is a UK-based technology company providing cities, local authorities and passenger transport operators with a smart transport platform for mobile ticketing and reservations, live vehicle tracking and rich passenger analytics. According to UrbanThings, “One way we could define MaaS is as creating simple, fully integrated, and seamless passenger journeys”.

In their joint presentation at TRANSPORT Smart Class, North of England 2023, Guy Sutherland (Head of Bids and Partnerships) and James Lewis (Customer Success and Delivery Lead) explored the promises, challenges and future of Mobility as a Service. They discussed the state of MaaS today, the commercial and technological barriers, and ways for operators and authorities to deliver a single source of information and passenger communication, simplified and unified payments, and drive behavioural change.

As technologies and passenger demands are constantly changing, Guy and James finally addressed the solutions that are available now, how to deploy them on a flexible platform, and what the roadmap to MaaS might look like.

Founder & CEO Carl Partridge, Senior Product Manager Simon Franklin, and Marketing Manager Flora Tran added their expert input during UrbanThings’ hosted, deep dive, roundtable sessions the delegates.

Presentation highlights:

  • What is MaaS Anyway?
  • Promises of MaaS and the MaaS Utopia – End-to-end multi-modal journey planning involving bus, train, taxi, ride hail, micro mobility, walking and cycling;
  • Promises of MaaS and the MaaS Utopia – Multi-modal, multi-operator journey plans; Simplified and unified payments; A single passenger app; One single source of information and passenger communication; Integrated back office;
  • The State of MaaS Today – “MaaSive vision, little progress”;
  • Commercial Barriers – Competing operators; Multi-operator fare; The funding question;
  • Technological Barriers – Different payment systems; Account integrations; Need for data standardisation;
  • Perfection – “The enemy of progress”;
  • The “Now” First Approach – Using available technologies now to enhance the travel experience for passengers; Smart Transport Platform;
  • The Roadmap to MaaS: Already Live – Multi-modal, multi-operator real time information and journey plans; Coming Now – Multi-operator smart ticketing, integrated cEMV information, deep-link integration with micromobility; Next – Deeper integrated services with in-app payments and account linking for centralised customer MaaS experience; Future – Policy-based behavioural change supported by combined loyalty schemes within the MaaS platform

If you satisfy our regular delegate qualification criteria but were unable to join in Leeds on May 25th for the live in-person event at Nexus, 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 Guy and James’ initial presentation).

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.

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TRANSPORT Smart Class, North of England 2023

On May 25th we will be casting a spotlight over the North of England, hosting our speakers discussions on how the latest digital innovations can help overcome the transport and mobility challenges faced by city-regions of the Northern Powerhouse and beyond.


   Leeds, UK

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