Why we need to talk about MaaS

On 24 March EMTA, POLIS and UITP convened for a joint webinar to discuss Mobility as a Service (MaaS) governance.

Some 150 people joined the webinar which provided an opportunity to hear representatives of the European Commission, public authorities and industry share their views on the role of public authorities in steering the development of the MaaS sector in view of the future European legislative initiative related to MaaS.

In February, EMTA, POLIS and UITP published a joint paper on MaaS governance, which put forward a series of principles that the European Commission is invited to consider when crafting this piece of legislation. All three organisations hold the view that public authorities should have the necessary powers to influence the local market for MaaS to ensure sustainable and equitable mobility goals are supported and to avert potential adverse effects from aunregulated market, such as monopolies and customer/vendor lock-in.

The European Commission representatives presented the EU’s priority to pursue multimodal transport with sustainability objectives in mind, in line with European Green Deal objectives. Victoire Champenois from DG MOVE presented the different regulatory approaches the institution is studying to foster sustainable multimodal mobility. Daniel Mes, from the Cabinet of Executive Vice-President on the European Green Deal, reflected on how the discussion around MaaS is comparable to that on Common Data Spaces, where the issue is neither the technology nor the lack of political will but the lack of trust.

Andy Taylor, from Cubic Transport Systems, agreed that the technology is there and that one of the key challenges around MaaS is partnership working and building trust between the different players. He pointed out that we must work to eliminate obstacles and to guarantee non-discriminatory access by giving a clear framework with sustainability and public interest at the core.

Public local authorities also had their chance to present their views during the debate. Dorthe Nohr Pedersen, from MOVIA – Copenhagen Transport Authority, highlighted the importance of deciding what to do with MaaS as instrument from the local authority perspective, reminding everyone how cities should have people as their priority. Juan Corro, from EMT Madrid, pointed out how MaaS can help fill in mobility gaps that authorities hadn’t previously noticed. He took this opportunity to present the concept of “Governance by design”, stating that real user-centric systems are governance centered.

For further information, download the EMTA-POLIS-UITP paper in the documents section below.