Technology

MaaS trial in Sydney

George Street, Sydney - Photo by Jasper Wilde on Unsplash
George Street, Sydney - Photo by Jasper Wilde on Unsplash

This Mobility as a Service (MaaS) trial in Sydney has the aim of advancing the understanding of the role that MaaS can play in both improving the travellers’ experience of using multiple complementary transport services (in terms of cost, travel time, convenience, health benefits and perceived safety).

It will also contribute to improvements in broader community benefits (such as better air quality, reduced congestion and greenhouse gas emission savings) by providing a convenient alternative to owning and using private vehicles.

The trial will be situated in the Sydney region, which has an appropriate setting for several reasons:

  • An extensive public transport system
  • Many private transport services providers are currently operating there
  • The setting which enables the creation of comprehensive multi-modal MaaS bundles

Furthermore, public sector actors in Sydney have shown interest in new ways to improve the public transport offering (e.g., the flexible bus contract in Region 6), and Sydney has an open data platform that will help in the process of aggregating numerous open and private data sources to provide insights and understanding of the travel behaviour and infrastructure utilisation within the city from the trial participants.

Participants

The trial

Using an app-based setting, the project will enrol participants in a six-month trial. Eligible participants, who work, live, and travel in the Greater Sydney area will arrange their everyday travel needs through a MaaS app (a customised version of Skedgo’s TripGo) linked to subscription plans.

The plans will give participants access to public transport (including train, tram, ferry, and bus) and a large portfolio of car-based transport services (e.g. taxi and car rental, Uber, Car Next Door, and GoGet).

The participants will be able to find, compare (e.g., in terms of cost, travel time, emissions and health benefits) and book these services through the app. As such, the trial will enable the participants to perform multimodal journeys seamlessly. The trial will explore the benefits of greater freedom of mobility.

Reasons for the project

There are many reasons this project is a valuable one to undertake, however, these three reasons are the primary drivers:

  • Proof that digital devices and connectivity open new possibilities to improve transport;
  • That MaaS could improve and/or complement traditional public transport; and
  • The current knowledge of appropriate mode mixes and subscription plans is limited in Australia and also globally.

Project objectives

  • To design and test the implementation of transport service mixes and MaaS subscription plans for potential early adopters, offering a unified integrated solution for transport services.
  • To document the experience in undertaking a trial as a way of informing future trials and full roll outs of MaaS.

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