Technology

MaaS business models: Lessons for operators and regulators

Source: HERE

This project is an exploratory study that aims to identify key barriers to the emergence of MaaS in Australia, and if and how they could be overcome. In particular, we will produce an evidence-based report that:

  • provides a summary of expected outcomes from MaaS under different policy and regulatory scenarios
  • identifies commercial opportunities for different actors in the public and private sector across the MaaS ecosystem
  • recommends pragmatic actions for public sector organisations to enable and regulate MaaS

Mobility as a service (MaaS) systems are expected to offer consumers access to multiple transport modes and services, owned and operated by different mobility service providers, through an integrated digital platform for planning, booking and payment.

MaaS has attracted great interest in recent years from both industry and government. The private sector sees new business opportunities; the public sector is interested in ensuring outcomes that maximise societal benefit. Notwithstanding this interest, an integrated full-service MaaS offering remains absent in Australia.

Participants

Project background

MaaS systems are expected to offer consumers access to multiple transport modes and services, owned and operated by different mobility service providers, through an integrated digital platform for planning, booking and payment. This potentially means significant changes to the way transport services are currently offered and paid for in New South Wales and other jurisdictions.

Transport authorities such as Transport for NSW (TfNSW) are the owners and managers of transport infrastructure and the custodians of public transport service contracts in their respective jurisdictions. These authorities will play a key role in enabling the future development of MaaS, including its commercial and contractual frameworks. Consequently, these authorities are looking to increase their knowledge of the emerging commercial frameworks and business models that may be required to enable MaaS to operate.

This project will produce an evidence-based report that provides a summary of expected outcomes from MaaS under different policy and regulatory scenarios; identifies commercial opportunities for different actors in the public and private sector across the MaaS ecosystem; and recommends pragmatic actions for public sector organisations such as TfNSW to enable and regulate MaaS.

Project objectives

1. The expected impacts and desired outcomes from MaaS

On one hand, MaaS could lead to potential reductions in private car ownership and use, increase public transport patronage, and improve mobility and accessibility for all. On the other, MaaS could lead to net increases in per capita vehicle kilometres travelled, with negative impacts on traffic congestion and net emissions. The universities will develop a framework for determining the likely positive and negative impacts of MaaS. The universities will assess what the desired outcomes from MaaS should be, from the perspectives of the public, industry and government. Answers to these questions will be used to frame the findings from this project.

2. The viability of different business models

Which business models are more likely to succeed under what conditions? The universities will examine the role of ownership and access in the provision of MaaS. Will successful MaaS providers adopt B2C (business to consumer) like models, where the MaaS provider owns and operates different transport services internally, and consumers are offered access to these services? Or will successful MaaS providers adopt P2P (peer to peer) like models, where the MaaS provider facilitates access to multiple transport services, owned and operated by independent agencies?

3. The role of different actors in the MaaS ecosystem

What could and should be the role of different public and private sector actors in the emerging MaaS ecosystem? Will MaaS be provided primarily through the private sector, with the public sector potentially playing the role of facilitator and regulator? Or will the public sector play a more proactive part in the provision of MaaS, either through public-private partnerships, or by taking on the role of independent provider? How might the role of the public sector vary across different levels of local, state and federal government; and across urban, regional and remote contexts? What kinds of commercial and contractual frameworks are needed to enable integration across different modes and services?

4. Data management

What kinds of data are needed to support integration between different transport services across journey planning, booking and payment? How can particular regulatory, commercial and contractual agreements facilitate data sharing? How should the data be stored and managed? What can be done to address concerns related to cyber security and data privacy? Many of these questions are already being examined by other actors within TfNSW. Findings from these related pieces of work will inform the present study. Wherever necessary, the universities will undertake additional research to address any outstanding questions in this domain.

5. The influence of the social and spatial context on the delivery of MaaS solutions

The universities will examine the role played by the broader social and spatial context in enabling the provision of MaaS in different regions. How does the viability of MaaS vary across urban, regional and remote areas; and to what extent can MaaS support and extend existing transport services across these areas? How are consumer needs likely to vary across different demographic groups? How can political and institutional frameworks support the provision of MaaS across different jurisdictions?

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