Rapid urbanization, growing traffic and congestion, technological innovation, environmental effects, and social trends are drawing attention to and shaping the future of transportation services worldwide. The increasing affluence of citizens around the world and the inrush of people from rural areas into urban areas have resulted in an explosive increase in households owning cars. Automobile ownership continues to grow worldwide, even given the increased cost of owning a vehicle. When you combine this with road infrastructure that cannot handle peak-hour loads, the result is chronic traffic congestion, which has reached an all-time high.
In addition, growing traffic is linked with a growing number of accidents and fatalities.
Increased emissions of greenhouse gases have resulted in climate change on a global scale. Air pollution generated by transportation and fuel consumption has become a serious impediment to the quality of life of urban populations. These effects also have economic impacts due to increased health costs with exposure to air pollutants and asthma diagnosis.
With the advent of mobile technology and the Internet of Things, the way we get around and consume services has drastically changed over the last few years. With the emergence of ride-sharing and autonomous vehicles on the horizon, the change in consumer mindset driven by the on-demand economy is clear. Advances in information and communications technology can reshape the future of mobility. The more technology advances, the more it’s integrated into our daily lives and people are expecting an integrated, more personalized transportation experience that better supports traveler requirements.
The concept of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) can be the remedy for many of these issues and is central to the idea of change in transportation. MaaS could break our reliance on car ownership, reduce congestion, provide potential cost savings, and increase mobility for all. The transit industry has a unique opportunity to bring value through a well-executed MaaS platform that will benefit all parties: consumers, communities and their environment, and the transit industry itself. Cubic Transportation Services, as a systems integrator and services company focused on the intelligent transportation market, has the opportunity to play a key role in the development and implementation of MaaS.
This project aims to provide a strategic implementation plan to guide Cubic Transportation Systems moving forward with the next steps of the MaaS platform. Our goal as a team is to assess the MaaS opportunities and challenges and form a plan of action for CTS. Without a set of clear objectives, the likelihood of success is remote. With this in mind, below I propose 7 objectives that will direct my team and me toward achieving our goals and CTS’s vision of MaaS.
Objective 1: Perform an in-depth analysis of existing CTS operations. What is CTS’s current state? How could MaaS improve this state?
Objective 2: Critically assess how the MaaS platform model should be organized and structured to ensure efficiency optimization. How will CTS work with third parties and bring all partners on board? What should be the governance rules for transit providers on the platform?
Objective 3: Uncover risks and challenges or obstacles CTS may face starting a new platform service. How will CTS avoid or mitigate negative platform effects?
Objective 4: Investigate consumer preferences and determine how CTS will achieve a critical mass for this new service. How will the platform cater to all travelers, young and old, affluent and underprivileged?
Objective 5: Investigate factors associated with the encouragement of responsible and secure data sharing. How will data be leveraged in a way that protects privacy?
Objective 6: Identify best practices for the MaaS revenue model to ensure competing parties work together and all get paid. How will the money flow from the paying consumer to each competing company? What are the pros and cons of various monetization models (subscription plan, pay-per-use, etc.)?
Objective 7: Recommend possibilities for implementation of a MaaS platform service. How will CTS play a key role in driving MaaS forward? How can CTS maximize platform benefits- will they be a plug-in to the platform or the integrator of the platform?
To accomplish the objectives listed above and proceed with data collection and analysis, both primary and secondary research must be conducted. Combining both of these activities is necessary for the completion of the project. I will first describe the secondary research that will take place given it will occur first.
Seeing that my team and I are newcomers to the intelligent transportation systems (ITS) industry, it is crucial that we first become familiar with Cubic Transportation System’s business as well as the industry. For gaining first knowledge about a market and industry, secondary research will be the most effective. The ITS industry is complex as it encompasses all information technology and communication with transportation systems to build the productivity of transport processes and enhance traveler security. To understand CTS’s marketplace, customers, and competitors we will analyze existing publications such as company and competitor websites and financial reports, industry journals and reports, MaaS studies, and other electronic databases. In addition, we will analyze any information and reports obtained from Cubic representatives whom we are in direct contact with.
We will also gather information on different monetization strategies via internet-conducted research. We will analyze transaction fees/in-app purchases, monthly subscriptions, the “freemium” approach, etc. Learning about others’ experiences with different monetization models and understanding each model will allow us to determine the best fit for MaaS. With so many choices, deciding on the best model comes down to what is best for the customer. In addition, we will use Internet sources to research ways to prevent data security breaches that threaten consumers’ privacy, as this is a big issue that must be approached with MaaS.