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Mobility as a Service – Time to munch on a little Crow

Astrid has been telling me for months that MaaS, or ‘Mobility as a Service’ is important and we should promote it. I have been saying it’s a buzz word and we should soft pedal a bit. Today she published an article by Mastercard, read it here, in the ‘trending’ column. The author succinctly describes MaaS as:

“Mobility as a Service” is the moniker for the digital interfaces that blend planning information, booking tools and, of course, payments – all with the goal of enabling an efficient and enjoyable time in the city, whether users are staying for a day, a week or indefinitely.

The article describes the ‘old days’ when we bought a guide book and then followed instructions as to how to ‘experience’ a new city. Today, its all on our smart phone.

The issue is that even if we use the phone we will use maybe a half a dozen apps to book Uber, our restaurant, buy tickets for the play, find and pay for parking if we drive, and also, if we take public transportation, an app to find and buy tickets on different modes, train, bus, and shuttle and perhaps another to find schedules.

The concept of having all this on the same app is being tested by Mastercard and the city of London. The idea being to make it easy for visitor and resident alike to find their way around with ease. They are underscoring the “Service” part of the name.

Described this way, it broadens the meaning of MaaS and provides what I would call a reasonable approach to a problem that does in fact exist: “The finding our way efficiently and quickly in a complex world.”

Yes, it must still be about choices. If I want to wander my smart phone’s home page and use a bunch of different apps planning my trip, or I want one convenient app to help me out, or I just want to follow my star and drive around endlessly, I still can.

However the MaaS concept will save time, energy, and money. You were right, Astrid. Crow tastes best with a sprinkling of good ideas.

JVH

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