MaaS and governance: a look at Europe

We have figured out that public governance will play an important role in fostering the development of MaaS. Let's take a quick trip to discover the main initiatives undertaken by the most virtuous European, national or local administrations, in order to define the rules for the creation of a MaaS ecosystem.

16 April 2021

by Carlotta Gasparini

Finland, France, the United Kingdom and the Netherland at a national level, Vienna, Ile de France and in Italy Piedmont at a local level, have launched initiatives to govern the MaaS transformation. All the provisions issued at European level support an approach of greater openness and sharing of data related to mobility services and pricing, in some cases a regulatory framework has also been established, with the aim to define guidelines enabling MaaS services. Here you can find an overview of the main experiences.

In 2017, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the interested Regional Authorities launched 7 pilot projects for regional MaaS services – scalable at national level – in a coordinated way. The MaaS services must comply with common rules, transparent conditions and requirements, in order to study the MaaS ecosystem in detail and identify the potential benefits in terms of environmental, social and transport sustainability. The Ministry has therefore defined a set of rules and functionalities that must be satisfied by the solutions implemented by each MaaS supplier with the aim to ensure scalability and integration of the pilot projects from a regional to a national context.

In 2018, the Finnish government issued the “Act of transport services“, also known as the “Finnish Act”: a law on transport services that brings together legislation on the transport market, creating the preconditions for the digitalization of transport and for the creation of new business models. The Finnish Act states the importance of promoting fair competition and equity in the transportation market and the competitiveness of both passenger and freight transport service providers. In addition, a framework is created for a more efficient supply of publicly subsidised passenger transport through digitalization, combined transport and different types of fleets. Highlight when we come to MaaS, the Finnish Act played a decisive role in enabling the launch of Whim’s first MaaS experience in Helsinki.

In 2020, the British Department of Transport launched a “Call for evidence“, or an active consultation of all mobility actors, with the aim of gathering opinions, ideas and reflections on the need to review the current transport regulations in the UK on those areas deemed obsolete, hindering innovation and implementation of new technologies and new business models. The main topics covered by the Call were micro-mobility, taxi buses and private hire vehicles and Mobility as a Service. Regarding MaaS, among the main points that have emerged is the importance of public governance, with a key role of the central government, responsible for the definition of a general regulatory framework for MaaS development, market openness and monopoly prevention.

On 24 December 2019, the French government promulgated the Law on mobility orientation “LOM”, which represents an important milestone for sustainable mobility, as it defines measures to support new mobility services alternative to the private car. The LOM includes measures to encourage the development of innovative solutions for the future of mobility, in particular the implementation of Mobility as a Service, through the opening of dynamic and static data, as well as the digitization of travel tickets. Data must be made available for all transport services and must be accessible in a single national access point. MaaS platforms have also obligations, such as completeness of public offer and non-discriminatory selection of private offer. The law was designed with the aim of rethinking the daily mobility from an intermodal and sustainable perspective. Unlike the Finnish Act, the LOM identifies a series of political and organizational acions, such as the establishment of local mobility orientation agencies (AOM).

Always in France, but this time at a local level, the team of Île-de-France Mobilités (representing the AOM of Paris) published a reference guide on MaaS in 2020, aimed at clarifying the main principles regarding the relations among bodies and players dealing with mobility in the region, in order to guarantee the best possible service to the users and to support sustainable MaaS business models. It is therefore a guide primarily addressed to mobility and parking operators, digital media providers and local authorities.

In Austria, the City of Vienna is characterized by an active role of the local administration through the in-house company Upstream (51% Wiener Linien, public transport and infrastructure operator and 49% Wiener Stadtwerke, public services provider of Vienna ), operating as a digital enabler for MaaS solution providers. Upstream currently provides an open digital infrastructure exposing data on transport services, a sort of infomobility hub, and plans to evolve by offering in the future also payment services for Viennese transport and mobility services to MaaS operators.

Concluding our journey with the Italian initiatives, in 2019 the Piedmont Region launched the strategic project “BIPforMaaS”, coordinated by the in-house company 5T, aimed at creating the conditions for the full deployment of MaaS services in the urban and metropolitan area of Turin and in the whole Piedmont region, starting from the existing BIP smart ticketing system of public transport. The project wants to facilitate the digital transformation of the local mobility system and to define a common vision for the future market of MaaS, enabled by a Regional MaaS Platform. With BIPforMaaS, the Piedmont Region intends to govern the MaaS transformation phenomenon, defining a set of rules for the local MaaS ecosystem according to the principles of free competition, open services and interoperability; promoting the depoyment of new MaaS services, for the benefit of the citizens, matching any mobility needs and offered by any MaaS operators interested in doing business in the Piedmont area; fully seizing the MaaS potential, as a powerful tool to promote a modal shift for mobility of people towards more sustainable solutions with a lower environmental impact, reaching “level 4” MaaS.

As we can understand from this review of good practices, many initiatives have been already put in place by several European administrations and certainly represent the first step of an important path, considering the Mobility as a Service at the center of the future of mobility.

We at BIPforMaaS, together with the Piedmont Region and the Piedmont Mobility Agency, strongly believe in the promise of MaaS. And we are working to ensure that the local system, first, and the national system, then, identify and define the necessary steps to be taken together, allowing Italy to seize the extraordinary opportunities that MaaS represents.

Keep following us, in our blog you will find articles and news on what we have learned about MaaS, while in the actions area you will find all the updates on the concrete achievements of BIPforMaaS, the first Italian strategic initiative for MaaS 🙂

In the meantime, stay tuned and follow us on linkedin!


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