Mobility as a service (MaaS): Charting a future context

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - urban, organisation - contracting, economics - pricing, policy - congestion, policy - sustainable, land use - impacts, land use - planning, planning - integration, planning - methods


Mobility as a service (MaaS), Digital disruption, Modal efficiency, Broker/aggregator, Road pricing, Government contracting


This overview article proposes a revised approach to improve the urban realm, against the backdrop of new models for delivering transport services as digitalisation, collaborative consumption and autonomous technologies take hold. We propose the concept of modal efficiency illustrated through a conceptual framework situating both existing and emerging modes of transport around spatial and temporal dimensions. This framework helps us evaluate how the push towards smaller and more flexible transport services in questionable settings can have significant and adverse effects on road capacity, increasing congestion and in the longer term impacting urban form. We propose linking urban land use characteristics to travel price and modal efficiency to improve the broader transport system and guide the sustainable development of our cities. Mobility as a service (MaaS) based on shared mobility and modal integration constitutes a major opportunity to deliver on these ideals, if organised appropriately. Widely diverging service delivery models for MaaS are introduced, including commercially-motivated models (which may exacerbate efficiency issues), and systems which incorporate an institutional overlay. We propose consideration of a government-contracted model for MaaS, where road pricing is incorporated as an input into package price, defined by time of day, geography and modal efficiency. In amidst the hype of new mobility technologies and services, a critical assessment of the realm of possibilities can better inform government policy and ensure that digital disruption occurs to our advantage.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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