The shift toward service-based transportation is growing. According to Statistica, the rideshare market, which includes service providers such as Lyft and Uber, is expected to increase from a 9.8% penetration rate in 2018 to 13.3% by 2022.

Although, service-based transportation incorporates more options than rideshare alone. Bikeshare, scooter rentals, public transportation like subway systems and bus routes, light rails, trains, cross-country buses, and flights, together with ridesharing, make up the service-based transportation market that provides users with a variety of alternatives to vehicle ownership.

As part of the growing trend away from personally-owned vehicles, Mobility as a Service (MaaS) has emerged in an effort to integrate the multiple service-based mobility options available to a user. Users can take advantage of any transportation service that they would like, public or private, and utilise more than one provider for any given trip without having to juggle multiple interfaces and platforms.

Instead, trip planning and service payments are streamlined into a single, easy-to-manage platform. By integrating disparate transportation options into a single platform, MaaS applications provide the ultimate solution to the service-based transportation experience.

The importance of a unified service-based transportation platform

Private rideshare services have revolutionised the way transportation works. By harnessing IoT-based technologies, rideshare provides users with on-demand rides, cashless payments, and service-provider rating systems. Concurrently, the U.S. Department of Transportation has found that, as of 2016, public transportation ridership had increased 26% over the previous 20 years, proving that in the wake of ridesharing success, various models of service-based transportation, particularly public transportation options, are still largely utilised.

Because rideshare may not always be the best mode of transport for a given trip, MaaS provides a new solution, offering users the capacity to incorporate the technological innovations that have made rideshare so successful, and apply those aspects across the board of transportation service providers.

By expanding the application of IoT across all forms of service-based transportation, MaaS applications provide a unified, cashless, on-demand, app-based service where users can seamlessly plan, pay for, and travel using the most appropriate mode of transport for their journey.

The advent of MaaS makes it simple for users to compare prices, routes, and travel times across service-based transportation providers, giving riders more user-friendly transportation options and solving the problem of complex trip planning.

The MaaS transportation experience

Similar to the way applications like Uber and Lyft work, a MaaS app begins with a journey planner, where users can input the start and end point for their desired trip. As an example, let’s imagine a user who would like to navigate to a meeting held at a location ten blocks away – a distance that would take too much time to walk.

Using an MaaS app, they can input their current location along with their destination, and the MaaS application provides three transportation options: a rideshare option where a ride can arrive in 2 minutes and will cost $7 (€6), a public bus option that will arrive in 20 minutes and will cost $2 (€1), or a bikeshare option that will require the user to walk 2 minutes to the nearest bikeshare dock, and will cost $2(€1).

From here, the user chooses the bikeshare option, and the MaaS app books the trip, processes the payment with the bikeshare service provider, and navigates the user to the closest bike share dock.

Similarly, a user may want to plan a trip from New York City to San Francisco. Using their MaaS app, the user can plan, book, and pay for every component of their journey, including the bikeshare they take from their New York City apartment to the subway station, the subway train that transports them to the airport, the shuttle from the subway station to the airline terminal, the flight across the country, then the rideshare service from the San Francisco airport to their hotel.

To provide this level of user support, MaaS apps are not only designed to incorporate a multitude of transportation service providers, but will also be required to function in as many places as possible, just as rideshare has grown to become available in locations all across the globe. This way, cross-city travelers can forgo the trouble of navigating unfamiliar transportation systems, and instead, have a user-friendly transportation experience everywhere they go with a MaaS app.

Powering MaaS transportation solutions with the Aeris mobility app

Users often default to rideshare options to get around because they are easy to use, though Mobility as a Service takes ease of use to the next level by integrated a network of transportation services into a single app. In order for such MaaS applications to be a viable solution, a reliable and robust network will be necessary to juggle the various transportation service providers, coverage areas, and end users.

Aeris has experience empowering transportation providers with the high-quality, reliable, and secure network solutions they need.

The author of this blog is Suzanne Lancaster

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