MaaS trial in Sydney
This Mobility as a Service (MaaS) trial in Sydney has the aim of advancing the understanding of the role that MaaS can play in both improving the travellers’ experience of using multiple complementary transport services (in terms of cost, travel time, convenience, health benefits and perceived safety).
It will also contribute to improvements in broader community benefits (such as better air quality, reduced congestion and greenhouse gas emission savings) by providing a convenient alternative to owning and using private vehicles.
The trial will be situated in the Sydney region, which has an appropriate setting for several reasons:
- An extensive public transport system
- Many private transport services providers are currently operating there
- The setting which enables the creation of comprehensive multi-modal MaaS bundles
Furthermore, public sector actors in Sydney have shown interest in new ways to improve the public transport offering (e.g., the flexible bus contract in Region 6), and Sydney has an open data platform that will help in the process of aggregating numerous open and private data sources to provide insights and understanding of the travel behaviour and infrastructure utilisation within the city from the trial participants.
Using an app-based setting, the project will enrol participants in a six-month trial. Eligible participants, who work, live, and travel in the Greater Sydney area will arrange their everyday travel needs through a MaaS app (a customised version of Skedgo’s TripGo) linked to subscription plans.
The plans will give participants access to public transport (including train, tram, ferry, and bus) and a large portfolio of car-based transport services (e.g. taxi and car rental, Uber, Car Next Door, and GoGet).
The participants will be able to find, compare (e.g., in terms of cost, travel time, emissions and health benefits) and book these services through the app. As such, the trial will enable the participants to perform multimodal journeys seamlessly. The trial will explore the benefits of greater freedom of mobility.
Reasons for the project
There are many reasons this project is a valuable one to undertake, however, these three reasons are the primary drivers:
- Proof that digital devices and connectivity open new possibilities to improve transport;
- That MaaS could improve and/or complement traditional public transport; and
- The current knowledge of appropriate mode mixes and subscription plans is limited in Australia and also globally.
- To design and test the implementation of transport service mixes and MaaS subscription plans for potential early adopters, offering a unified integrated solution for transport services.
- To document the experience in undertaking a trial as a way of informing future trials and full roll outs of MaaS.
UPDATE: March 2020
We interviewed the IAG lead on this project, Sam Lorimer. Sam covers not only a snapshot of his current role and career path, but also provides updates on how the MaaS trial project is going. Read the interview at Sam Lorimer: MaaS mover and shaker
UPDATE: May 2020
On 1 May 2020 iMOVE ran a webinar, Mobility as a Service: Progress and new insights from an Australian trial webinar. It was facilitated by Kate Mackay of Mott Macdonald, and featured talks by research lead on the project Professor David Hensher, and project lead IAG’s Sam Lorimer.
Click the play button below to watch the webinar video.
UPDATE: January 2021
Over the course of work on this project, Professor David Hensher has thought more on a definition of just what MaaS is. In this redefinition, David has had input from Natasha J Hinrichsen (Department of Transport and Main Roads Queensland), Sampo Hietanen (MaaS Global), Corinne Mulley (ITLS, University of Sydney), John Nelson (ITLS, University of Sydney), and Andy Taylor (Cubic).
The new definition is:
MaaS is a framework for delivering a portfolio of multi-modal mobility services that places the user at the centre of the offer. MaaS frameworks are ideally designed to achieve sustainable policy goals and objectives. MaaS is an integrated transport service brokered by an integrator through a digital platform. A digital platform provides information, booking, ticketing, payment (as PAYG and/or subscription plans), and feedback that improves the travel experience. The MaaS framework can operate at any spatial scale (i.e., urban or regional or global) and cover any combination of multi-modal and non-transport-related multi-service offerings, including the private car and parking, whether subsidised or not by the public sector.
UPDATE: April 2021 – Final report
The final report for this project has been made available for download, Find it at: Sydney MaaS trial: Design, implementation, lessons, the future