When it comes to launching a MaaS platform, time is usually of the essence. Due to the sheer amount of other actors involved, building a new network is simply not a project you’ll want to drag out indefinitely. You have a growing need for a MaaS network that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. That’s why it’s helpful to plan in stages, and specifically to include those stages in your tender outline before sending it out for bids.
It’s worth being specific on this: we’re talking about the technical stages of launching your MaaS network, not pre- and post-launch to-do’s like user research and promotional campaigns.
Generally speaking, there are four main technical stages to launching a MaaS network.
Sounds complicated, but what we really mean by “gathering your data” is collecting and analyzing the public transport data your existing transportation system is already generating on a daily basis. This data can then be processed and prepared with a data management platform.
A journey planner is the bread and butter of any mobility-as-a-service app. A well-designed journey planner will cover and be able to compare trips taken on public transport, bikes, kick-scooters, taxis, car sharing and an often-overlooked category: walking. Your journey planner should be built with a routing engine that adjusts routes according to real-time traffic conditions and can even adapt to cultural needs – for example, in some countries, people don’t mind walking longer distances to reach a station.
Exactly what it sounds like: get your MSPs on-board as soon as your multimodal journey planner has been integrated. Start with your “essential” MSPs first – the ones already being used in your city – and concentrate on their core services. At the same time, you should be integrating your payment and SSO providers in preparation for the final stage:
A finely tuned journey planner and a long list of freshly integrated MSPs mean nothing if your users can’t access them through your brand-new, all-in-one MaaS app. Don’t underestimate this stage: as soon as a user decides the app interface is hard to use, confusingly designed or just plain ugly, they’re likely to stop using the app and your new platform and never look back. Always try to focus on your users, rather than getting too “caught up” in the technical side of your MaaS solution.
As a city, you’re best positioned to understand what your users really need, and there’s no harm in leaving the technical expertise to your tech provider. Launching a MaaS network is a group effort, after all, and each stakeholder has a uniquely different role to play. If you plan in stages, and include those stages in your tender, you’ll be in a good position to effectively collaborate with the other stakeholders who are helping you build your network.