A transport model called MaaS could enact significant changes in the transport industry.
The concept – Mobility as a Service – encourages smarter travel on roads and provides a much better alternative to owning a car.
Originating in Scandinavia, MaaS has the propensity to change the face of efficiency and sustainability in terms of mobility and the concept from Finland has already been rolled out in the UK.
It involves the ‘Whim’ service that is an app that is now in use in the West Midlands.
This provides affordable travel in the region that, in future, could change the way public transport, shipping, buses and coaches are operated.
The West Midlands Combined Authority has agreed the service, in partnership with National Express, SilverRail, Birmingham City Council and MaaS Global.
Its introduction into the UK marketplace has been described as “an incredibly exciting location” by MaaS Global’s Co-Founder, who added: “With their open and forward looking approach, Transport for West Midlands, with local transport service providers from National Express and SilverRail to Enterprise are the true enablers of bringing MaaS to the UK.”
As it stands, the concept will integrate public transport so that cars, taxis, trains, bikes and other modes take people from door to door, as quickly and easily as possible.
But the other huge benefit to this introduction to the UK is its effect on efficiency of the roads.
More than ever, the UK’s highways and motorways are overloaded with vehicles each and every day. This increases the pressure to make improvements to the network – something that leads to the need for investment to upgrade roads – and in addition, pollution worsens because of the volume of vehicles on the UK’s roads.
This, though, could change all of that. Less vehicles mean greater productivity, which will also benefit businesses who need to use the roads each and every day.
And the role of MaaS could be key to that, as well as encouraging other local authorities to roll out the concept.