What is Mobility as a Service (MaaS) ? 

To Category Expertise

Posted on 18 April 2019

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What is Mobility as a Service (MaaS) ? 

The arrival of many new players in the mobility sector has upset the balance established over decades. These new offers are transforming users’ requirements and their modes of travel in the city. The diversity of mobility services can lead to greater complexity for the user, who must find the best alternative to make his journey and switch from one application to another depending on the operators chosen.


The MaaS marks a change in perspective of the mobility system towards a more user-oriented approach. It is a continuous process of aggregation with multiple layers of services and functionalities. It simplifies the transition from one mode of transport to another for a single trip, offering a smooth transition of information, booking and payment.


MaaS is not a new concept… It is important to clarify the difference between MaaS and existing concepts of multimodality, intermodality :


At Via ID, we define MaaS as an aggregation process including a plurality of mobility services and different levels of functionality ranging from information, itinerary, payment, booking to multimodal subscription.


MaaS is a hybrid ecosystem composed of digital elements (platforms, applications) and physical infrastructures (vehicles, roads, parking spaces, stations, etc.).



Why is everyone talking about MaaS ? 

For users, MaaS is a way to simplify the urban experience. Dense cities offer multiple modes of transport (shared mobility, on-demand, self-service and traditional transport). The arrival of new entrants in this sector leads to increased complexity for the user whose dream is to access the most practical alternatives with a simple touch of the finger. It will thus be able to choose its modes of mobility according to criteria such as price, travel time, quality of service or safety.


For cities, MaaS represents an opportunity to solve congestion, pollution and parking problems. Cities perceive MaaS as a strategic way to optimize their operations at a reasonable cost. MaaS platforms offer the possibility of combining existing public transport systems with a growing offer of private services.  The regulatory framework will have to evolve in order to identify a regulatory authority for regional mobility.


For traditional operators, MaaS is a strategic hub. Public transport operators are generally specialised in a single vertical. They were not initially created to become aggregators. Regulatory developments should allow them to exploit their full potential to aggregate multiple services and change their positioning to be more user-centric.


For startups, MaaS is a great market opportunity. Startups have developed two strategies to position themselves on the MaaS. We can mention startups such as Uber, which already benefit from a high level of traction in relation to its critical mass of users. Its position as leader in VTC allows it to diversify its assets in order to offer more services and become an aggregator.

Other startups such as Whim or Ubigo are starting from scratch and must set up agreements with the various players in order to reference their solutions on their application. 


MaaS is the new paradigm for the cities of tomorrow

Yann Marteil, President of Via ID

Today we identify 3 levels of MaaS aggregation from the simplest to the most complete:

Level 1: information platform

Level 2: Aggregation platform

Level 3: subscription platform