LARGE URBAN CENTRES ARE MAKING STEADY PROGRESS IN THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY AND DIGITALIZATION TO PROVIDE A COMPLETE SERVICE TO THE PASSENGER ON EACH OF THEIR JOURNEYS.
Mobility as a Service makes its way in the big cities. Railway operators put in place strategies to improve their proposals with integrated applications, and to join the traveller at all stages of their journey with a comprehensive service that includes planning, information, management, payment and onboard entertainment.
In Spain, major cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, which are in the ranking of the best public transport networks in the world, are making steady progress in the use of technology and digitization . They are joined by the strategy carried out by companies such as Renfe to respond to the new needs of passengers.
Madrid’s Municipal Transport Company (EMT) also has the MaaS Madrid mobility platform. With an application where all the mobility services of the city (both public and private) can be consulted, booked and even paid without leaving the App.
Since its implementation in 2019, users of public transport and shared mobility in the city have seen how it is easier to decide which means of transport is best for them at all times and places. Due to the importance of the metro and commuter network in the capital, the railway is one of the core elements of this new mobility, which is complemented by other modes of transport that have emerged in recent times.
RAAS: RENFE PUTS ITS BETS ON EFFICIENCY
The company works on an innovative App that will group in a single ticket high speed, metro, taxi and the technological platform of vehicles. With this proposal, Renfe wants to become a comprehensive mobility operator. The goal, to be present in the entire journey and offer all the services that users need on their door-to-door journeys.
This application will allow, among other aspects, to unify payments of various modes of transport into a single ticket, as well as the contracting of other services such as electric scooters, public bikes, taxis or Cabify. Renfe indicates that work is being done not only to make services more efficient, but also to become the centre of a logistics chain and a more sustainable mobility system.
BARCELONA INCENTIVIZES ‘MOBILITY AS A SERVICE’
In Catalonia there are initiatives, such as MaaS Catalonia, aimed at encouraging the ‘Mobility as a Service’ model that seek to be a reference framework for achieving synergies and new opportunities in the region. In addition, they also work to create international cooperation in this field.
The city of Barcelona is already an example of connected mobility. Last year the City Council launched an app that reports on paid street and underground parking services, electric charging points and the shared bike network.
EUROPEAN CITIES ADAPT TO THE TRAVELLER
Alongside the Spanish cases, in Europe there are numerous cities that are also examples of this adaptation to the new ways of travelling. Helsinki is one of the clearest examples. At the heart of the Finnish capital is “Whim” a digital platform that integrates travel planning from the point of origin to the destination. It also allows users to book e-tickets and payment services on all public or private transport models.
This same platform works in Birmingham, United Kingdom, to cover the West Midlands region.
“In Europe there are numerous cities putting their bets on MaaS”.
Gothenburg (Sweden) is another of the cities that lead the commissioning of such applications. “UbiGo” provides a simpler and “climate-smart” way to travel by public transport, share the car and rent a car, taxi and bike, by using a single smartphone app. It is one of the first pilot projects in Europe.
This technological focus is also placed by various operators such as Deutsche Bahn which has launched the “Qixxitde” App, at national level, so that passengers can plan public and private travel and make payments within its application