Implementing Mobility as a Service: Challenges in Integrating User, Commercial, and Societal Perspectives
Journal article, 2015
This paper presents insights from a six-month field operational test (FOT) in Gothenburg, Sweden, during which 195 participants tested the UbiGo mobility service for everyday travel. The service integrates both public and private solutions into a new type of “collective transport”, thereby contributing to Swedish societal goals of a reduction of private car use and ownership. A triangulation approach to data sources and collection methods has been adopted in order to identify matches and mismatches between the expectations and experiences of three stakeholder groups: users (FOT participants/customers), commercial actors (the mobility broker and service providers), and society. Identified matches include the “transportation smorgasbord” concept, reducing private car ownership, and increased pre-trip planning. Identified mismatches relate to the greater than expected reduction in car use; the respective business models of the mobility broker and service providers; back office administration; and the smartphone platform. Gaps include the infeasibility of some trips and the need for more carsharing sites. All in all, the FOT was successful with 93% of participants satisfied with their travel and 97% wanting to continue using UbiGo. However, the mismatches and gaps need to be resolved or at least deliberated upon in order to create a commercially viable mobility service. Based on the experience gained, the authors conclude that truly “collective transport” must involve close cooperation between public and private actors, and the consideration of at least these three, sometimes conflicting, stakeholders’ perspectives in order to create integrated solutions. Furthermore, new business models are needed to address the challenges associated with future, integrated, urban mobility solutions.
field operational test
mobility as a service
private car ownership