Cities who fail to realise the benefits of MaaS may find themselves “ill-served by broken transportation systems” no longer fit for purpose
Ito World, which specialises in delivering real-time transportation data, has launched a global manifesto to demonstrate how mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) has the power to unlock a greater number of opportunities for populations in cities across the world.
The MaaS Manifesto: Accessing your city’s potential shares the expert views of Ito World’s CEO Johan Herrlin and unique insight from academics and European government ministers. It looks into how, by embracing alternative modes of transport, having the right infrastructure in place, and ensuring public and private sectors work together with emerging players, we can open up communities and reduce congestion and pollution in urban environments.
The manifesto also paints a picture of a future where cities ignore the opportunities afforded to them by MaaS. It depicts a dystopic vision of fractured communities and isolated populations, “ill-served by broken transportation systems” no longer fit for purpose, and therefore no longer able to connect individuals to a wider society.
The manifesto has been released ahead of European Mobility Week which runs 16-22 September and addresses key issues raised by this year’s theme of ‘multi-modality’, the mixing of transport modes within the same journey or for different trips. By joining up traditional and shared transportation systems, the manifesto recommends, MaaS will serve the needs of the citizens by ensuring continual urban flow.
“As worldwide urbanisation continues to gather pace, it leads us to ask the question, will our traditional transport networks be able to cope?” said Johan Herrlin, CEO at Ito World. “Being able to get from A to B is a basic human need, not least to open up access to education, employment, healthcare and communities. But even this fundamental right is being threatened by congestion, pollution and the continued use of private vehicles.
“At the core of MaaS is a mobile application that puts the customer first, allowing them to craft their journey to their specific needs, priorities and preferences. As the MaaS marketplace continues to evolve, public authorities need to lay a foundation and establish their place at the centre of the future urban mobility ecosystem.”
“How do we avoid a dystopian future in which private cars of today are simply replaced by private automated vehicles tomorrow?”
Collaboration between private transport companies, data experts and public authorities will be the key to making MaaS a success in cities. So, too, is open data. The open data movement has been shown many times over to have an overwhelmingly positive return on investment. The manifesto outlines that the public needs to know which transport options are available to them, based on where they are at any particular time, in order to choose the optimal mode and route.
Commenting on governments’ role in shaping the future of urban transportation, Pascal Smet, Minister of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region comments in the manifesto: “For me, as a politician, the most crucial question to ask is “how”. How do we avoid a dystopian future in which private cars of today are simply replaced by private automated vehicles tomorrow?
“It’s up to city governments to redefine the role of public transport and partner up with the innovation in the field. Public transport needs to remain the backbone of a city. In the future, shared private automated services will have to connect to that backbone within a framework set out by city governments.
“If we can succeed, we will take another leap towards cities with more space to live and wander and flow more easily. Mobility is not an end in itself but a means towards better living environments.”
In the manifesto, Ito World also outlines five steps that city authorities can take to unlock the opportunity that MaaS offers:
1 Use real-time data to understand people patterns and schedule joined up services to meet demand
2 Use real-time shared transport occupancy data to optimise services
3 Make accurate, comprehensive passenger information accessible to all to give travellers the confidence to move away from private car use and use shared forms of transport
4 Make cities people friendly by creating green community spaces
5 Create safe walking and cycling routes to interconnect seamless multi-modal transportation
To access the Ito World Manifesto, ‘Accessing your city’s potential’, please click here.
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