The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has coordinated two recent Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) projects that have contributed to the creation of the European Mobility as a Service Roadmap 2025.
Under VTT’s coordination, the projects have evaluated various aspects of the MaaS concept and the preconditions have been enhanced for user-oriented and ecologically-friendly mobility services that seamlessly combine different modes of transport. The ultimate goal is to enable the user to choose between different modes of transport, combining the most suitable mobility services on a one-stop-shop basis. The resulting European Mobility as a Service Roadmap 2025, and business models will contribute to achieving this. Several MaaS pilots and some fully operating services already exist in Europe, but more services need to be included into the same ecosystems in order to enable national and international travel chains.
The European Mobility as a Service Roadmap 2025 was created as a result of two MaaS projects involving VTT:
The two-year MAASiFiE (Mobility As A Service for Linking Europe) project was funded by the CEDR (Conference of European Directors of Roads), and the other parties in the consortium were Chalmers University of Technology from Sweden and AustriaTech from Austria; The MaaseutuMaaS (MaaS for promoting the development of rural business and services) project was co-financed by the development fund of the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The Lappeenranta University of Technology was VTT’s research partner, and the project focused on the special features of rural MaaS services, including publicly subsidized transportation.
MaaS service business models were developed and technology requirements clarified for both projects, and policy guidance and legislation supporting MaaS were discussed. Mobility services are expected to increase the use of public transport, car sharing and ride sharing, and to rationalize passenger and freight transport. This, in turn, would reduce traffic volumes, emissions and congestion in urban areas, and increase efficiency in sparsely populated rural areas. The new definition of public transport also includes peer-to-peer rental and sharing services.
“Cooperation and systematic development between stakeholders will be required in order to achieve these goals. The customer must be better served, without forgetting factors such as the overall transport system and environmental goals,” said Jenni Eckhardt, the senior scientist from VTT, who served as the project coordinator on both programs. “Legislation and policy guidance also play a major role in facilitating MaaS. Better preconditions should be created to enable flexible, combined transportation chains.”