Trying Out Mobility as a Service: Experiences from a Field Trial and Implications for Understanding Demand
Journal article, 2016
The concept of Mobility as a Service or MaaS has been proposed as feasible way to achieve more sustainable transport. One example of such a service is UbiGo, a broker service for everyday urban travel developed and evaluated within the Go:Smart project in Gothenburg, Sweden. This paper presents evidence of travel behavior and related changes from a six-month field operational test (FOT), during which 195 participants tested the new service. Based on participant questionnaires, interviews, and travel diaries, change-enabling service attributes are identified, including the ‘transportation smorgasbord’ concept, simplicity, improved access and flexibility, and economy. Although not a service attribute per se, the FOT also enabled the trialability of new behaviors and a reevaluation of convenience. Additionally, the broader implications of the FOT findings on understanding travelers’ new choices and behaviors are discussed in terms of the future design of MaaS. Service design and demand are not independent of each other, and if a mobility service is to change behavior (i.e. achieve impact) as well as create added value, these goals need to drive design decisions and a deliberate, conscious development of service dimensions such as customization, bundling, and range of the offer. Based on the experiences gained, the authors emphasize a more holistic and flexible perspective on mobility (and design perspective on mobility services) that is focused on serving users’ needs, and that involves capitalizing on synergies between public and private actors, in order to develop the MaaS ‘offer’ and better meet the urban mobility challenge ahead.
Mobility as a Service (MaaS)