6 November 2019
Public transit agencies in Europe move into MaaS
With the world’s cities moving to reduce transport emissions and encourage residents to leave their cars at home, there is growing interest in Mobility as a Service as a solution. Mobility as a Service, or MaaS, has been driven by startups such as Finnish private service developer MaaS Global whose service Whim is in operation in Helsinki and other cities, however, the challenge has been in developing a platform which a sufficient number of service providers, public and private, open their services to. In this interest, a public service operator like Berlin’s BVG or Spain’s state-owned train operator Renfe could serve as effective unifiers of such disparate services as taxis, bus operators, ride-hail services, and micromobility operators. Jelbi, the service launched by Beriln’s transport authority BVG in September 2019, combines a full range of services from the U-Bahn to e-scooters to serve the city’s 3.6 million residents and requires all service providers to be fully integrated into the app allowing users to book any service with a single login. Renfe’s app takes a similar approach in building on its own strong rail network and fleshing this out with individual service providers like shared bicycles, taxi services, and others in a single application and payment system. With these major operators showing the way, the future of mobility in these cities stands to undergo a considerable shift in the coming years.