MaaS – customer at the centre
Mobility as a Service – MaaS – was invented in Finland to bring the user into focus. MaaS means a holistic change in the entire transport system and in the roles of the transport sector players. MaaS combines transport options from different providers, handling everything from travel planning to payments and offering real-time travel information. MaaS is a smooth and environmentally sound alternative to private car ownership.
MaaS is a mobility service offered to a customer. A MaaS service provider brokers and integrates the services of several transport modes according to the customer’s needs and sells the entire travel chain needed by the customer. For customers, MaaS offers smoothness and ease of mobility because one service can provide a broad selection of transport modes.
MaaS as a concept is a service that fulfills mobility needs by combining public transport, taxis, on-demand ridesharing and the use of private cars in a single digital service. Also, bike share, scooter share, other new modes, and one’s own bike and walking are part of MaaS. There is no one single form for MaaS and different kind of business models can be developed around that. Users can opt to buy journeys on demand or subscribe to a monthly package. However, the important thing is that public transport is always the backbone of MaaS.
Efficient MaaS services need support from the transport system and the regulatory framework. Further, openness of data and the interoperability of the systems involved must
be ensured. Regulations should not prevent providers from developing new service models nor their entry into the market. Additionally, the transport infrastructure, such as routes, stations and parking, must support the smooth use of the new services.
In the future transport system, the users are actively involved in planning the system. The private sector will create innovations and develop services, while the role of the public sector is to enable the change and provide favourable operating conditions.
Rural solutions will also be needed – we want to ensure for everyone adequate mobility services and accessibility relative to well-being, cost-efficiently with an appropriate service level.
Finland is the first country in the world to have a law integrating all modes of transport and enabling new, user-oriented transport services. We believe that the Government’s role in responding to the disruption of the transport sector is to ensure that legislation supports the development of new services.
The Finnish Act on Transport Services views the transport system as one entity and provides the needed elements for a technology-neutral digitalisation of transport services and new transport models. Read more: the Act on Transport Services.