During March, Intelligent Transport Systems Australia (ITS Australia), the peak body for the intelligent transport systems industry in Australia, together with the iMOVE CRC, announced a project to better understand what Mobility as a Service means for Australia and, importantly, what Australians think.

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is the integration of multiple modes of transport into a single, intermodal travel service, accessible on demand. The fundamental point of MaaS is to put the users at the centre of transport and mobility options, with accurate and real-time information about modes, routes, and service availability, including public transport, ride-sharing, bikes, and walking and parking, helping travellers get to where they want to go more easily. A full MaaS ecosystem can offer people real choice and improve mobility outcomes for them as individuals all based on their individual needs, handling everything from accessibility needs, special requests and payments.

MaaS also offers business models and platforms with advantages for transport operators including access to improved user and demand information, and opportunities to serve unmet or latent demand. The aim of MaaS is to provide an alternative to the use of the private car that may be as convenient, more sustainable, help to reduce congestion and constraints in transport capacity, and importantly provide better mobility options for communities at an adaptable price.

ITS Australia, through the iMOVE CRC, are partnering with the Institute for Choice (University of South Australia), and leading transport stakeholders; Transport for Victoria, Transport for NSW, Translink, Department of Transport WA and Royal Automobile Association SA, and developing a MaaS consumer research report asking the question; What does MaaS mean for Australia, and what do Australians think?

Dr. Joffre Swait, research co-director at the Institute for Choice (I4C), said at a recent project working meeting that “MaaS promises to be an exciting new paradigm for the provision of transport services. I4C is delighted to be collaborating with partners in industry and government to help understand Australian consumers’ expectations and preferences for MaaS.”

“To maximise the benefits of MaaS for Australia, there needs to be a well-planned and collaborative approach. To that end we have developed a consumer survey to be taken by thousands of Australians nationwide. This survey is supported by an exhaustive literature review and analysis of existing mobility services that fit the MaaS description, as well as interviews with leading transport professionals from the public and private sectors.”

Ian Christensen, Managing Director, iMOVE Australia said “A successful transport system encompasses many forms of getting around, often mixing several different transport modes. It is crucial to understand the drivers for choice of mode in order to deliver options that work for transport users. iMOVE is pleased to support this MaaS project that will provide important consumer and industry perspectives to help shape the MaaS element of the overall transport landscape for Australia”.

Susan Harris, CEO, ITS Australia added “The research and survey responses will be analysed to glean insights into how Australia can prepare a pathway forward for these mobility services locally. Looking at a holistic approach that ensures our most important stakeholders, end-users or customers are included in preparing for this exciting once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

Susan Harris will present the initial findings of the national consumer research and report project at the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) Conference in Sydney, 3 May 2018 – the inaugural MaaS

conference for ITS Australia. The complete report will be published and presented to the industry

in early June.