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    Mobility as a Service

    Mobility as a Service could be coming to a City near you, offering your business the ability to choose the most cost-effective travel decisions.

    Whether your business travel is managed by a Mobility Manager, HR or Management this is a new concept that you should be taking note of and keeping up-to-date on the integration of mobility into your City to gain business benefits.

    Global interest in Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is growing and currently gaining more and more attention in the public and private sectors. Mobility as a Service is an online technology solution allowing businesses to find, manage and analyse the travel of their employees. It seeks to improve how people and goods move around whilst making cost savings and reducing the effect of travel on the environment.

    MaaS is a relatively new concept which offers access to a range of vehicle types to help solve urban density problems and help make getting around easier and more efficient. A number of Cities are currently working on test pilot projects of integrated transport systems with great success.

    Such service models rely on a robust digital platform to allow for end-to-end journey planning, from booking, to electronic ticketing and payment services.

    Ideally Mobility as a Service streamlines all aspects of travel for your business into one solution and can cover aspects such as cost, time and comfort comparisons of different modes of transport, as well as expense recording, and even searching for accommodation or local restaurant options for employees as they travel around.

    MaaS aims to reduce business travel costs

    Not only will reduced planning time help to improve operational costs, but it will allow you the opportunity to choose the most cost-effective travel decisions for your business. This is particularly crucial as businesses grow and the employee base expands, often bringing extensive travel costs.

    Doug Kelley of Bluedrop Services says that "With improved data recording and analysis businesses will be able to better understand their total cost of mobility and therefore make more informed decisions on their business travel as well as the size of their fleet."

    Examining data on total cost of mobility could see company’s move towards shared vehicle ownership to reduce their overall operating costs. It will have huge impact on vehicle ownership rates and possibly change the automotive industry as we know it.

    Mobility driven by smart phones helps transport providers work in partnership

    With the help of the adoption of smart phones MaaS brings together multiple transport networks which have until now operated separately with limited information sharing. User experience will ultimately be the driving force in growth of Mobility as a Service adoption, and so each provider will need to work in partnership to ensure its success.

    Distribution of different modes of transport will need to be readily available with providers working together and keeping online information up-to-date on availability and scheduling.

    Finland’s pilot for Mobility as a Service

    In Finland’s capital, Helsinki, residents are currently using an app called 'Whim' to plan and pay for their public and private transportation. You simply enter your destination, select the preferred mode (train, taxi, bus, car share or bikeshare) and pay as you go or by using a payment account linked to the service.

    MaaS models offer ticketless travel opportunities by using a smart card or smartphone to enter and exit different transport modes during your journey for ease of use. With many other Cities trialling mobility solutions, there may be one coming to a city near you very soon.

    The future of Mobility

    MaaS provides the future potential to improve customer travel choice as well as addressing many transport challenges that currently face society. MaaS provider support could potentially break some social challenges that currently generate peak travel demands leading to congestion. Factors such as school start times, and workplace start and finish times all need to be considered to help ease congestion.

    In the future Mobility as a Service solutions will also likely incorporate autonomous vehicles also which are still in the pilot phase. Ultimately MaaS will seek to reduce congestion, offer greater productivity, improve air quality, and result in fewer traffic accidents.

    As private and public sector participants work together they will seek to fill the gaps in transportation services for a more efficient future and exciting possibilities.

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