The many tastes of MaaS

What about the business of MaaS? We launch today a mini-series to look at the big changes in the mobility business ecosystem connected to the MaaS transformation. With “The many tastes of MaaS” we put people at the centre and explore how on-demand mobility services will change the way we move. And how each of us will have the chance to choose his or her preferred MaaS service, among the many tastes that MaaS will provide.

30 April 2021

by Matteo Antoniola

We have understood that MaaS transformation will provide us with new mobility services, more and more digital, integrated and multi-modal. Easy to use, always available, flexible and above all personalised and on demand. Each of us will be able to choose from a fan of mobility solutions for any journey, comfortably and rapidly through a simple MaaS app on our smartphone, pre-trip or even on-trip.

And now a question arises, that we often face discussing MaaS with the different stakeholders: are we going to have one MaaS service or rather many MaaS services? The question is not only relevant, but essential, as it represents the starting point of any MaaS mindset.

In order to answer this question, let’s try to consider all possible cases where a complete and available MaaS service might help our trips: occasional or regular trips, trips related to work, study, errand or pleasure, planned or last minute journeys, trips in the city, intercity or in the countryside, travels alone, with the family or with friends… and who knows how many more cases we can imagine.

How could a single MaaS service meet all these different needs?

Considering the complete mobility experience of the users leads us to the conclusion that, within a mobility ecosystem, any MaaS operator will create their value proposition, combining the offering mix, according to the different transport and mobility services, to the specific target users and to the geographical scope of operations. We will probably witness the growth and development of a variety of MaaS services, characterised by specific features and addressing specific target users and potential customers.

As future MaaS users, we will be able to visit a mobile store, choose and download on our smartphone the preferred MaaS application, among the available ones, that best meets our mobility needs. Then we will simply register and start to use a new on-demand digital service, for all or part of our trips.

We will be able to find MaaS services dedicated to residents in urban and metropolitan areas, communters that frequently move from home to work (every day, or maybe two of three times a week with the smart working) and sometimes do different trips for errand or family purposes. Commuters can then in turn be further segmented, according to wether their lifestyle is already oriented to collective transport or rather is heavily car dependent.

We will have MaaS services directed to young people and students, who move every day to school and on occasion for free time. They will be probably frequent users of public transport, interested in new mobility services, especially bike sharing, car sharing and micromobility, and characterised by a high level of digitalisation but a low willingness to pay.

We will see MaaS services dedicated to people who travel frequently for work, inside their local community or for long-distance trips to other cities. They will travel indifferently by car, by train or by plane, wishing to integrate their door-to-door travels with last mile services like taxis or micromobility, and will be characterised by a good level of digital maturity and by a high spending propensity.

We will witness the growth of specific MaaS services for tourists, interested in accessing transport services in order to comfortably visit cultural attractions and events during their staying, possibly integrated in one single tourist and mobility offer. They will often travel with the family of in large groups and will be characterised by a high-spending profile, but with a digitalisation level that varies significantly according to the age groups.

These are just a few target users of the future MaaS services, probably the easiest ones to imagine. But we believe that the market will be able to identify many more target users for specific and personalised MaaS services, such as for instance vulnerable people, families with children, elderly people, etc.

For these reasons, we are sure that we won’t have just one MaaS service, but we will have the chance to choose our preferred MaaS service, among the many tastes that MaaS will provide.

If MaaS were an ice cream (and who doesn’t like ice creams?), public governance should promote the growth of as many ice cream shop sas possible, in orde to offer people the widest variety of ice creams. If MaaS were an ice cream, everyone could choose his or her ideal formula: in cone or cup? With one, two or three flavours? Or maybe with whipped cream? Or in a bowl to take away? If MaaS were an ice cream, for sure it would manage to cater to all the possibile and impossible tastes of passionates, gluttons and experts.

If MaaS were an ice cream, my favourite tastes would be pistacho and hazelnut. What would be yours?

Photo by Kelsey Curtis on Unsplash


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