ITS Australia, together with the iMOVE CRC (Cooperative Research Center) consortium, has launched a project to better understand what Mobility as a Service (MaaS) means for the country and, most importantly, what Australians think about the concept.
Originally developed in Finland, a MaaS system covers the integration of multiple modes of transport into a single, intermodal travel service, accessible on-demand.
The fundamental point of MaaS is to put the users at the center of transport and mobility options, with accurate and real-time information about modes, routes and service availability, including public transport, ridesharing, bikes, and walking and parking. A full MaaS ecosystem can offer people real choice and improve mobility outcomes for them, all based on their needs, handling everything from accessibility, special requests and payments.
MaaS also offers new business models and platforms, with advantages for transport operators including access to improved user and demand information, and opportunities to serve unmet or latent demand. The aim of MaaS is to provide an alternative to the use of the private car that may be as convenient and more sustainable, help to reduce congestion and constraints in transport capacity, and importantly, provide better mobility options for communities at an adaptable price.
ITS Australia, through the iMOVE CRC, is partnering with the Institute for Choice (I4C) at the University of South Australia, and leading transport stakeholders – Transport for Victoria, Transport for NSW, Translink, Department of Transport WA, and Royal Automobile Association SA – to develop a MaaS consumer research report that asks: ‘What does MaaS mean for Australia, and what do Australians think?’
“MaaS promises to be an exciting new paradigm for the provision of transport services,” said Dr Joffre Swait, research co-director at I4C. “To maximize the benefits of MaaS for Australia, there needs to be a well-planned and collaborative approach. To that end we have developed a consumer survey to be taken by thousands of Australians nationwide.
“This survey is supported by an exhaustive literature review and analysis of existing mobility services that fit the MaaS description, as well as interviews with leading transport professionals from the public and private sectors.”
Susan Harris, CEO of ITS Australia, added, “The research and survey responses will be analyzed to glean insights into how Australia can prepare a pathway forward for these mobility services locally. Looking at a holistic approach that ensures our most important stakeholders, end-users or customers are included in preparing for this exciting once-in-a-generation opportunity.”