Mobility as a Service Best Practice Report 2020
Technological innovation presents an opportunity to travel smarter and to offer a personalised travel service based on user preferences. This is known as Mobility as a Service (MaaS), and is generally envisaged as an online interface comprising of an intermodal journey planner, single payment portal and booking system, incorporating the entire end-to-end journey. One of the drivers of this innovation is the need to encourage and incentivise the use of public transport, shared modes and active travel over private car use, potentially reducing congestion and environmental impacts. It also has potential to lower costs and improve accessibility for users by widening the range of services available to them.
In 2020, East Lothian Council asked Stantec to look at how MaaS solutions are being developed across the world, and what they might look like for our corner of Scotland. Their research concluded that at the heart of the success of MaaS is not the provision of a new app but the availability of an integrated travel solution that users find satisfactory and appealing to use, and notes that there is a need to develop a comprehensive understanding of how mobility services currently operate (i.e. contracts, ownership, data, etc.) across the region. Therefore the local development of a MaaS scheme is now being taken forward by SEStran, the regional transport partnership, while East Lothian Council concentrates on providing the physical infrastructure needed to support an improved public transport system, that is better provision of information and upgraded bus shelters.