USDOT hosting webinar on development of Smart Columbus Program’s MaaS application


The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has announced that it will be hosting a free webinar on the Smart Columbus Program’s Multi-Modal Trip Planning Application and Common Payment System (MMTPA/CPS) next Wednesday (August 29).

Columbus won the USDOT’s Smart City Challenge competition in 2016, with the Ohio state capital selected to define what it means to be a ‘smart city’ and serve as a model for other cities wishing to fully integrate innovative technologies – such as connected and automated vehicles (CAV) or advanced mobility applications – into their transportation networks. Columbus is acting as a living laboratory for intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and disseminating lessons learned and best practices to cities across the USA in an effort known as the Smart Columbus program. The goal of the initiative is to connect people by creating opportunity for residents to better access jobs and services, while improving the overall safety and efficiency of the city’s transportation network. The Smart Columbus program is comprised of nine individual projects covering three themes: enabling technologies, emerging technologies, and enhanced human services.

One of these projects, the MMTPA/CPS, will be used throughout Columbus and outlying communities that are serviced by shared-use transportation services. The project will allow travelers to create and pay for multimodal trips using an account-based system, which is linked to different payment media and modes of transportation. Working together, Columbus and the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) wish to become a facilitator for Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) by providing a platform that integrates end-to-end trip planning, booking, electronic ticketing, and payment services across all modes of transportation, public or private. The anticipated outcome is improved access to transportation options for communities in need to travel to jobs and other destinations or services in the region.

Columbus defines MaaS as a shift away from personally owned vehicles, to a solution that combines both public and private transportation services. Integration with the Smart Columbus Operating System is central to city’s vision for facilitating the MaaS concept. The Operating System will serve as a unified gateway for the region, by combining the transportation services of multiple mobility providers into a single platform accessible to travelers using the MMTPA. The account-based CPS will provide travelers with the ability to pay for all trips with a single account.

This webinar will focus on the Concept of Operations (ConOps) for the MMTPA/CPS developed by the City of Columbus, conveying a high-level view of the system to be implemented from the viewpoint of each stakeholder. It frames the overall system, sets the technical course for the project, and serves as a bridge between early project motivations and the technical requirements. The ConOps also offers stakeholders, and the larger ITS community, the opportunity to provide input on how the proposed system should function, which will help build consensus and create a single vision for the MaaS initiative moving forward.

Click here to register for the webinar, which takes place from 2:00-3:00pm (ET). 

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About Author


Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).