Decreasing dependence on private vehicles has been high on the political agenda in recent years. The needs and habits of travellers have also evolved, and they increasingly demand more flexibility in their mobility options. Simultaneously, a great number of shared mobility services – including car sharing, moto sharing, bike sharing, demand-responsive transit, carpooling, etc. – are progressively becoming commonplace. Combining these with public transport in a meaningful way can provide convenient, affordable and private vehicle free options for door-to-door mobility, while also adhering to policy goals. In the process, the traditional model of mobility service providers working in isolation is slowly being abandoned.
The Mobility as a Service (MaaS) concept stems from the above-mentioned trends, and is based on a complete paradigm shift in the way the transportation services are distributed and the business models are run. It can be defined as follows:
Mobility as a Service is a user-centric, intelligent mobility distribution model in which all mobility service providers’ offerings are aggregated and supplied to users through a single digital platform.
Since the idea was first formulated, MaaS has received increased attention, not only from the traditional transportation industry, but also from other stakeholders in a newly established MaaS ecosystem.
The momentum for MaaS is high in Catalonia. Barcelona is the designated Mobile World Capital until 2023 and a world-renowned smart city, with a vibrant ecosystem of companies in the shared mobility space, and being one of the leading hubs for technological startups in Europe. While there are already quite some forums tackling mobility topics at local level, not yet a single initiative is clearly and specifically aimed at discussing and pushing MaaS forward in a coordinated manner in Barcelona and Catalonia. In this context, MaaS Catalonia launches the following MaaS Manifesto, which sets out 7 key principles for MaaS shared understanding. The main objective is to raise the interest from the widest spectrum of stakeholders in the MaaS ecosystem, not only in Catalonia but at international level, and provide a space to openly discuss the several aspects that are critical for developing the new MaaS paradigm to its full potential.