Here, Dr Steve Cassidy, managing director of future mobility specialist Viaqqio, part of ESP Group, shares his thoughts on the report and what it could mean for the future of MaaS.
We welcome the report on Mobility as a Service (MaaS) from the Transport Select Committee, which showcases the importance of not only recognising the existing benefits of MaaS but also the future potential.
As an area in which we have been active for a number of years, we were encouraged by the strong reference to our work throughout the report, particularly around NaviGoGo which was described as one of the two most developed MaaS pilots in the UK today. This is a boost for us and also Scotland, with NaviGoGo being Scotland’s first MaaS pilot.
At Viaqqio we believe MaaS should be available for everyone, not just those who are wealthy and can afford the latest technology, so it was good to see the risks associated with social and digital exclusion recognised within the report. Co-designing our services with users, be they young people, people living with dementia or older travellers, has been essential in designing and delivering services which meet their needs. All of our activity is focused on adding value to all travellers and ensuring public transport has a strong part to play in future mobility.
We welcome the identification of a case for government funding in MaaS beyond the Transforming Cities budgets, in order to support rural areas and those regions without a metro-mayor, as without adequate tailored funding the potential of MaaS won’t be reached.
We agree that the time is right for the Department for Transport to support MaaS using the discussed “test and learn” approaches. In particular we hope to see support for both small and large-scale pilots across multiple areas and scenarios. Through our experience we know that the benefits of MaaS can only be fully understood, and realised, at scale: it’s time to build on our existing knowledge and drive MaaS forward in 2019.
This coming year is an essential one for the future of MaaS so we look forward to reviewing the government’s vision for the future of MaaS and hope that with the right support and funding we can make life easy for many more individuals across the UK in 2019 and beyond.
Find out more about Viaqqio and the current MaaS pilots, including NaviGoGo, by visiting Viaqqio’s website.
The full House of Commons Transport Select Committee “Mobility as a Service” report can be accessed HERE.