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Mobility as a Service: How To Get People Out Their Cars and Onto Public Transport

3 min


London, England - July 19, 2016: Cyclists riding "Boris Bike" city hire bikes ride along the Broadwalk avenue enjoying summer evening sunlight in Hyde Park.

After the Scottish Government launches the final investment boost into Mobility as a Service (MaaS), Quadrant Transport sit down with Alastair McInroy, CEO of Technology Scotland, to discuss the importance of integrating the service effectively to maximise public response. 

 Ultimately, MaaS typically joins up multiple modes of transport to aid the ability to access public transport. This allows the users to decide how they use the service in the most efficient way for them. 

 The £1 million in funds from the Government, is intended to help create new innovative ways in which public transport can be integrated. It is hoped an evidence base will be created to enable the MaaS solutions to be distributed across Scotland. 

 Discussing the projects, Alistair McInroy said: “These pilot projects will show what MaaS can do. It is related to the idea of model shift and reducing the barrier between people engaging with sustainable forms of transport.”

 With transport being one of the biggest contributors to Scotland’s carbon footprint, projects like MaaS are an essential intervention. 

These pilot projects will show what MaaS can do. It is related to the idea of model shift and reducing the barrier between people engaging with sustainable forms of transport

 Transport has been a specific issue, as the footprint has been decreasing at a much slower rate than that of agriculture and manufacturing. “It is an outstanding element that needs to be drastically improved over the next 23 years if we are going to meet net-zero targets,” said Alastair. 

People need to be incentivised to phase out car use

 One of the largest issues surrounding the implementation of MaaS is getting the public on board, to use public transport rather than their cars. Alastair expanded on this, “Often MaaS is framed as a direct and immediate replacement for the car. The binary narrative on this idea that you will simply ditch the car for public transport is not a good thing.”

 For MaaS to be successful it has to be organically integrated into people’s lives. It is a project that requires patience and needs to offer people the tools to travel more sustainably. 

 Alastair went on to tell Quadrant Transport: “What we have to consider is that for a lot of people MaaS is going to be a transition and the car is going to play an important part of people’s lives for some time to come. But what MaaS can do is, is to incorporate that car use to the wider transport networks. Then you are not saying get rid of your car completely, you’re saying use your car less.” 

There will always be times where a car is 100% necessary. If we can integrate the wider transport networks and make it easier for people to access that

 MaaS is all about getting people to think more about how they travel. “There will always be times where a car is 100% necessary. If we can integrate the wider transport networks and make it easier for people to access that.” 

 Despite the huge challenge of phasing people out of cars and using MaaS, Alastair is positive that it can be implemented effectively.

 He said: “We have a society now that is more acutely aware of their personal impact on the environment than they have ever been. That is a good thing. I think people are happy to look for avenues which will help them reduce that. What we are trying to do is gradually reward them, incentivise them and bring them on the MaaS journey with us.” 


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