Manchester road tests MaaS

A MaaS trial in Manchester in the UK generated fascinating insights.

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City leaders around the world are working to increase mobility as part of the overarching goal to improve quality of life in the places we live and work. Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) is central to achieving this.

 

MaaS brings together the various transportation options in a city – such as public transport, shared bikes, ride-hailing services, on-demand options, etc. – and allows citizens to plan their route, choose their preferred mode of travel and book and pay for everything via one app.

 

Cities are at various stages on their journey to MaaS. Our new Trend Report: MaaS – Cities on the Move highlights different approaches from pioneering cities and the takeaways we can draw from their work so far.

 

One of these is Manchester, which has run a pilot MaaS project to gain citizen feedback.

 

Download the full report for more case studies from Los Angeles, Stuttgart and Karlsruhe.

 

Trying MaaS on for size

 

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) oversees the 2.1 billion journeys that are made across the region each year – 59 per cent of these are in cars.

 

TfGM’s goals include reducing congestion, improving air quality and increasing the availability, affordability and reliability of public transport. The authority is investigating how MaaS can help it to achieve this.

 

TfGM, working with Atkins/SNC-Lavalin, ran a MaaS trial to understand user behaviour and perceptions of MaaS. The initiative brought together a wide range of stakeholders and paves the way for a MaaS solution specific to the needs of the region.

 

From 230 volunteer residents, 39 participants were chosen to take part in the live trial. In-depth research such as interviews and ride-alongs highlighted some of the key issues that Manchester’s commuters face.

 

Participants received daily, personalised travel plans, including buses, trams, car-share, taxi, bike-share, on-demand shared mini-bus and walking – all offered via a single ticketing option.

 

Real-time travel updates were provided along with re-routing during travel disruptions.

 

Nudging

 

A personal profile was created for each participant and behavioural ‘nudges’ were sent to encourage changes in travel behaviour.

 

A quarter of nudges were accepted by participants, with responses providing some fascinating early indicators of what motivates individuals to change their travel behaviours.

 

A quarter of nudges were accepted by participants, with responses providing some fascinating early indicators of what motivates individuals to change their travel behaviours.

 

TfGM says the results from the real-world trial were “very encouraging”. The authority concluded there was a strong strategic case for TfGM to invest in MaaS and that MaaS could be a significant tool in achieving TfGM’s objectives, along with the wider city goals for sustainability and economic growth set by the Mayor.

 

Results

 

Following the trial, 26 per cent of participants said they were more willing to use public transport, and 21 per cent were more willing to cycle and walk.

 

There was a 27 per cent increase in positive perception of public transport – a figure that had previously been in decline.

 

Six months after the trial, 82 per cent of participants said they wanted MaaS back. A third of car owners wanted to give up their vehicle and the majority were willing to increase their monthly travel spend for MaaS.

 

Twenty per cent of participants had incorporated active travel into their daily commute and one participant even moved jobs to be able to walk to and from work, demonstrating the health potential of MaaS.

 

Where next?

 

Next steps TfGM is continuing its work to facilitate MaaS, identifying the roles of different stakeholders in the MaaS commercial ecosystem.

 

“The future of MaaS in Greater Manchester looks promising. TfGM continues to support MaaS for Greater Manchester… the journey continues!"

 

TfGM is also continuing to iteratively develop the business case for MaaS regarding commercial relationships, the operating framework and the financial model through iMOVE and MaaS4EU, two European research projects funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme.

 

Rafael Cuesta, Head of Innovation, TfGM, said: “The future of MaaS in Greater Manchester looks promising. TfGM continues to support MaaS for Greater Manchester… the journey continues!”

 

Download the MaaS Trend Report

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