Briefing: Transport Select Committee report on Mobility as a Service
by Suzanne Lau
In November 2017, the Transport Select Committee launched an inquiry into Mobility as a Service (MaaS): digital platforms that enable users to plan, book and pay for travel through a single transaction and through a single app. The Committee’s inquiry aimed to better understand the current evidence base on MaaS and to assess how to overcome barriers to implementation and concerns about digital and social exclusion, as well as the role of government in supporting its development. You can read CTA’s initial response to the inquiry here.
One year on, the Committee have produced a report on their findings. The report details the potential of MaaS to streamline transport and deliver benefits to individuals and society, while warning of the risks that MaaS could pose if not properly governed and regulated. The report further breaks down the concept of MaaS, MaaS in practice, as well as the way MaaS is governed and regulated.
Overall, the report is positive about the potential benefits that MaaS has to transform the transport landscape into a more efficient and integrated experience. However, the Committee are clear in their recommendation that these successes can only be delivered with proactive leadership, careful regulation, and practical support from the UK Government, the latter of which includes providing adequate funding.
The Community Transport Association welcome the report’s analysis and recommendations, particularly with regard to recognising the danger of social and digital exclusion. Ensuring that new developments in technology don’t ignore key groups of service users is of particular importance to community transport as their main user group, primarily older people, are not always the primary audience for new digital programmes.
However, we believe that community transport is perfectly positioned to be integrated into the MaaS ecosystem as a transport operator and it was disappointing that this potential wasn’t recognised by the Committee in their report, especially given the need for accessible transport evidenced by current MaaS pilots. Community transport already provides the first and last mile of journeys to make an overall journey possible for those who cannot access the conventional transport system due to age, economy, and disability, and is therefore an effective and accessible solution that should be mobilised when developing future MaaS systems.
We’ve produced a short briefing on the Committee’s report, our thoughts on it and our thoughts on how community transport can fit into MaaS more generally. Click the link below to have a read!
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