Mobility as a Service (MaaS) – how does it affect the coach and bus industry?

Mobility as a service

What is Mobility as a Service?

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is a broad range of ideas that aim to make transportation – be it public or private – more simple, efficient, and convenient via digital solutions. It allows users to pay for and get real-time information on a range of public and private transport options.

The key concept behind MaaS is to put consumers at the core of transport services, offering them tailor made mobility solutions, based on their individual needs. This means, that for the first time, easy access to the most appropriate transport mode or service will be included in a collection of flexible travel options for end users.

How will MaaS affect the bus and coach industry?

Variations around the future of MaaS includes bus-based options that involve smart bookable ‘point-via-point-to-point’ services that offer choices on travel times and fares.

Bus services (with larger buses) where the market for smart MaaS is difficult or inappropriate to provide (e.g., contracted (often free) school bus services), will still also continue to be run.

What is exciting about this future prospect is that there are many smart bus operators in various jurisdictions throughout the world, and they can be part of this journey, make profits and take pressure off of the funds currently provided by government, resulting in a significant improvement in value for money for both business and consumer.

Maintaining a consistent service

For bus and coach companies looking to establish a multimodal transport model, the challenge lies in developing a consistent service between multiple companies within designated parameters.

These could include studying the different zone configurations around a city, then combining these with data on the current road and rail network configurations, as well as the average speeds, passenger numbers and frequencies of these services. From this information, a detailed, flexible mobility model can be drawn up.

For private coach companies, where journeys can be to locations around the world, the solution might be as simple as developing coordinated partnerships with local ride-sharing companies – linking the apps & offering unique deals from drop-off points to take passengers direct to their doors.

75% of traffic congestion is caused by excess traffic. Poor air quality causes 40,000 to 50,000 early deaths in the UK at a cost of roughly £20 billion to the UK economy every year. Simultaneously, traffic congestion in the UK’s largest cities is now 14% worse than it was five years ago. The introduction of MaaS programmes provides a real opportunity to improve air quality in urban areas and enable cities to attain targets in CO2 reduction – this can specifically be targeted by bus and coach industries.