Mobility as a Service (MaaS), sometimes referred to as Combined Mobility, Mobility on Demand, and Integrated Mobility, is considered to have the potential to bring about sustainability gains within passenger transportation. Billed as an alternative to private car ownership and use, with public transport as a ‘backbone’, MaaS can promote more sustainable travel behaviour through, among other things, modal shifts towards shared and active modes.

In studies funded by the Nordic Energy Research project SHIFT and the Vinnova project IRIMS, researchers at RISE and several other Swedish research organisations have investigated the dynamics of MaaS developments in Sweden, Finland and other locations across Europe. These studies have examined a set of drivers and barriers to innovation as a means to derive implications for the governance of sustainable MaaS developments.

• Support is needed to coordinate public and private organisations given the prevalence of barriers to collaboration in MaaS ecosystem. Publicly funded activities that provide support for business modelling and coaching should be given priority.
• If public transport is to act as a MaaS operator, existing laws and governing directives must be modified and clearly emphasise the possibility for public transport to be able to assume new roles in the future MaaS ecosystem. Alternatively, if MaaS is to develop along a more commercial path where private sector entrepreneurs act as MaaS operators, directives are needed to mandate third-party sales of public transport tickets.
• It is critical that MaaS contributes to a sustainable reorientation of the transport system. Ongoing pilots must be assessed and evaluated according to their sustainability credentials. R&I funding should be a priority within the Nordic region given its international reputation as a pioneer of MaaS developments.
• Uncertainties linked to the market potential and willingness to pay for MaaS are a persistent barrier to investments in MaaSs. National and Nordic visions should be coupled to existing transport policies and outline pathways and stepping stones for sustainable MaaS developments.
• Cities and municipalities should take a more active role in MaaS developments at the local level where they should both enable and ensure that MaaS developments are guided towards sustainability.