MaaS and Public Governance

We have well understood by now that MaaS means transformation. E powerful and disruptive digital transformation of our mobility, that will take us into a new world characterized by on-demand services

15 March 2021

by Matteo Antoniola

And we have also understood that path, like any other transformation process, will bring along both opportunities and threats.

And we have started to understand that opportunities will likely be more than threats and that MaaS transformation, properly directed, will be able to keep the promise to create value for the whole mobility ecosystem, keeping aligned the goals to produce benefits for the citizens, for the business, for the environment and for the community.

The core issue is now: how can we assure a good governance of MaaS? How can we lead all the players of the MaaS ecosystem towards new models for a digital and on-demand mobility.

Let’s try to consider what we mean by “governance”, a word that we usually say in English since Italian language doesn’t have a translation with such a complete meaning. Governance basically means “the processes of interaction and decision-making among the actors involved in a collective problem that lead to the creation, reinforcement, or reproduction of social norms and institutions”.

Governance therefore characterises any complex, multi-actor, multi-dimensional context of collective interest, and this concept as you can guess is applicable to a MaaS ecosystem, that is a complex and fast-changing system, involving technical issues (digital technologies, data, connectivity, integration, etc.), organisational issues (regulations, policies, players, benefits, etc.) and commercial issues (services, users, agreements, fares, etc.).

In general terms, governance can be clearly pursued through different models, public, private or public-private. And in the MaaS context, we strongly believe that “public governance” plays a key role. MaaS means digitalisation and integration of multi-modal mobility and hence regards subsidised transport services (like Public Transport) and regulated mobility services (like taxi or any other shared mobility services), but also deals with the individual right to freedom of movement of citizens.

But as you can imagine, the MaaS market runs faster than public governance, and we have seen, tried and studied a good number of concrete MaaS pilots, developed and operated over the last years in some European cities, in the absence of a clear regulatory framework of the MaaS game. This condition did not allow MaaS experiences to reach the expected results in terms of breadth of offering, scalability of services, number of customers and in the end business performace and modal shift.

But all the chickens come home to roost, and the most business players of the MaaS ecosystem now strongly claim that to move one step forward, nd to keep the promise of MaaS, anywhere in the world and at any level (European, national, regional, metropolitan) public sector shall take the lead, with the aim to facilitate, design, enable and orchestrate the transformation towards a digital and on-demand mobility.

Here in Torino and Piemonte we have been brilliant and lucky enough to guess this several years ago. And thanks to our shareholders, who exactly like us believe in this path, and in the key role of public governance, at 5T we have started working on MaaS, just to make sure we will be ready for the date with the future of mobility.

Photo by Kuma Kum on Unsplash


Back to articles