By Antonio Carmona, General Manager, International
With Transport Ticketing just around the corner, the industry has turned its sights to the issues that surround Mobility as a Service (MaaS). But, is MaaS viable and will it ever become a reality?
Access to Information and convenience of travel options will dictate the success of true MaaS and we believe that the industry is on the cusp of enormous change in the way people move around and how they pay for their travel.
Mobility as a service (MAAS)
The key concept behind MaaS is to offer passengers solutions based on their travel needs. In our cities and towns today, the mobility ecosystem goes far beyond the traditional public transport as we knew it just a few years ago. Vehicle sharing schemes (bikes, scooters, cars…), ride-sharing on demand schemes, real-time service information… will all be available in our hands enabled by digitisation and mobile technologies.
The term Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) has been coined by the industry recently; however, we can find almost as many definitions of MaaS as people talking about it.
For Ticketer, MaaS is an extended version of an integrated and interoperable public transport network, and with fare integration policies, passengers are incentivised to use mass transit and shared modes of transport over the private car. This particular way of looking at MaaS puts public transport as the backbone of mobility and opens a space for the alternative shared mobility modes for areas of lower demand, specific traveller circumstances, or particular journeys, where public transport is not serving well and efficiently.
With the above in mind, MaaS initiatives are facing challenges that could be looked at from two angles:
- From the passenger point of view – who needs to;
- Find the best multimodal journey from A to B under certain criteria (could be a combination of cost, time, environmental impact, etc.)
- Book, request and/or access some legs of the multimodal journey and
- Pay for the journey, all of it as seamless as possible.
- Authorities and Operators – who need to organise the mobility services in such a way the above passenger experience is provided, and the use of shared mobility is incentivised. This means that agreements on physical and operational interoperability are required, but also in the fare integration space. Fare integration programs require agreements, but also technology enabling a seamless passenger experience.
Account Based Ticketing (ABT) as the next generation of payment of payment for MAAS
We see Account Based Systems as the next generation of payment for mobility services. It’s more than just a technology; it is a new customer-relationship model that brings an incredible user experience.
Today we see convenient ways for people to be identified when entering transit networks, such as contactless bank cards, mobile phones or smart watches.
With the passenger as the focus, ABT enables operators to identify who is moving across the mobility network, where, how and more importantly identifies a payment agreement or entitlement to travel associated to the user, so that the trips can be charged. The flexibility to define and change fare structures, and the possibility of using third party IDs, along with the way the new mobility modes are accessed (normally through the use of a smartphone) make ABT systems the perfect (and needed) ticketing and payment infrastructure for MaaS initiatives.
Come along and see us at Transport Ticketing, 28 – 29 January on stand D12. We look forward to seeing you there.