The role of the public sector in governing MaaS

The paper is intended to guide public (transport) authorities in reflecting on what their role could be in the MaaS ecosystem. Similar to the Polis discuss paper on MaaS launched 2 years ago, the EMTA paper highlights the confused discussions around MaaS, in terms of what it actually means, and also the push from the technology/commercial side as opposed to the policy side.

The paper sets out three different approaches to the governance of MaaS, ranging from the from the ‘free market’ approach to a public sector-dominated approach, the role of the public authority therein and the pros and cons of this approach.

1. The (decentralised) commercial initiative would see the private sector develop the MaaS market with the public authority simply enabling this by providing access to data and systems logic. This is the approach that some MaaS service operators are currently pushing for and which could be enabled by legislation such as the revision of the Finnish transport code.

2. The pure public initiative describes a MaaS system that is initiated and managed by a public sector party, such as a public transport authority or a local/regional authority.  This approach would see the public sector managing the data and systems integration as well as the delivery of the MaaS service (the app). More and more public authorities are adopting this approach today.

3. The third approach public infrastructure for open MaaS market describes a scenario whereby the task of the data and systems integration is separated from the actual delivery of the MaaS service (the app). It proposes that the public sector assumes the role of data and systems integrator (public digital infrastructure), to ensure fair, sustainable and public sector value. Access to this digital infrastructure is made on a fair and non-discriminatory basis to local, national and international MaaS players. Some city and regional authorities are either developing or have expressed interest in such an approach. It will be interesting to know what is the view of the private sector.

Building on the EMTA paper and Polis’ prior work in this area, both associations are planning to hold a joint workshop for their respective members in the Autumn.

To download the EMTA paper, click here.