mobility app on the scooter
mobility app on the scooter

Sustainable Commutes: How Integrated MaaS Solutions Can Make a Difference

Now that the worst of the global pandemic is over, many of us have returned to commuting on a daily basis. But how often do we actively think about our commute and what negative effects our transport mode of choice has on the planet? The environmental cost and the number of greenhouse gasses caused by our commute might be higher than we think. 

According to the European Environment Agency, transport is responsible for ¼ of all European greenhouse gas emissions. Clearly, mobility is one of the biggest challenges we have to tackle if we’re serious about fighting climate change. The situation calls for a shift in both mindsets and legislation that prioritizes sustainable transport over gas- and diesel-powered personal vehicles. 

Commuting and greenhouse gas emissions

Sustainable transport can be an effective tool for reducing the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging healthier lifestyles. 52% of work-related trips in Europe are taken in cars. Climate Neutral Group research shows that traveling by car is the most environmentally damaging way to get to work every day and produces 91% of all commuting emissions, totaling 2.4 MtCO2. 

This problem can only be solved through reducing our emissions. This is when the mobility services come in handy to assist in encouraging a greener lifestyle for the better of our environment. 

Replacing car trips with bike rides, walks or a combination of more active mobility modes is better for one’s health as well. For example, a generation ago, 70% of British children used to get to school by walking or biking, which made them more mentally alert and less overweight. Today, the vast majority of kids in Britain are driven to school each day by their parents. 

 Replacing car trips can reduce emissions

10 of New York City’s Central Parks would have to grow for a year to absorb the emissions created in a single day of commuting by car in Switzerland. Utilizing mobility services helps to create a sustainable commuting lifestyle that doesn’t harm the environment. For instance, switching from a car to public transport or micromobility would save approximately 1667 MtCO2 for commuters in Switzerland.  

In addition to being sustainable, Mobility-as-a-Service systems offer numerous other benefits, such as a variety of transport modes to choose from and affordable options that are available to everyone. MaaS is also a data-based solution, meaning it can be improved and optimized over time and allow us to measure its effectiveness; this provides us with an opportunity to build even better systems in the future. 

The shift to sustainable mobility is possible

Changing to sustainable mobility alternatives brings the EU closer to accomplishing the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Deploying MaaS apps and platforms can help us get on the right track to creating more environmentally friendly cities and reducing the number of privately owned cars on the streets. 

At Trafi, we’re working towards making positive change happen. Our product for businesses incorporates shared, smart and low-emission transportation options and encourages users to consider sustainable mobility solutions for their daily commute. Promoting greener mobility is a priority that everyone should be taking into consideration as we move towards an emissions-free and healthier future for our planet. 

Gen Z: Less Car Ownership

The way cars are perceived by younger generations has changed drastically over the last few years. Gen Z no longer considers cars to be the most convenient or ‘best’ transport mode available. Now, people born between 1997 and 2005 are responsible for creating an entirely new mobility culture, one that is focused on sharing instead of ownership. 

In fact, members of Gen Z are not particularly enthusiastic about obtaining driver’s licenses: since the 1990s, the number of driver’s licenses acquired by young people has fallen by 40% in the UK. It’s clear that Generation Z takes a different approach when it comes to buying, renting, or owning automobiles.

We interviewed 4 members of Gen Z from Switzerland, Ukraine, Vietnam, and France to understand their attitudes towards owning a car. 

Flexible lifestyle over fancy assets

One of Gen Z’s main traits is the desire to have the freedom to decide where they want to work, study or relax. 

As a member of Gen Z, I think I have a lot of opportunities to move around – something as permanent as a car feels like it is holding me back.” – Thang, 23-year-old from Vietnam

Owning a car does not fit with Gen Z’s typically transient lifestyle, which is often defined by travel or having the ability to move somewhere else relatively spontaneously. 

The main reason why I don’t want to have a car now is that with my lifestyle, having one is more of a liability than an asset. I travel quite often and thus wouldn’t use it as much.” – Yana, 23-year-old from Ukraine 

Maintaining a car is expensive

According to the Irish Times, prices on used cars are 56% higher now than at the beginning of the pandemic. Taking into account the global “Great Resignation”, which caused a rapid change in workplace dynamics, and the feeling that regular incomes are relatively unstable or uncertain, owning a car is often simply outside of Gen Z’s budget. Particularly when there’s a great public transit system in place, cars lose their relevance as a main mode of transport. 

“I live in Europe where public transport is pretty good, and I save money by not needing to pay for parking. It takes less time and is more efficient when transiting through cities, and I don’t need to pay for gas.” – Amy, a 24-year-old from Switzerland

Public transport is a convenient alternative

Gen Z realizes that cars have less value for people living in cities. Public transit systems are often more advanced:  “In a big city, everything is designed for the use of common transport such as the metro, bike, and bus.” – Nicolas, a 21-year-old from France

 The second reason is traffic jams. “In big cities, having a car – in my opinion – is also not super convenient because of the traffic.” – Yana from Ukraine

Additionally, public transportation systems in Europe allow Gen Z to choose from varieties of mobility options. “Public transport in Europe and America really suits my style of living and is also convenient.” – Thang from Vietnam

Gas-powered mobility increases pollution 

Gen Z’s push for sustainable living is the result of the belief that change starts with themselves. According to Forbes, 40% of Gen Z and Millenials think that more people will continue with environmentally healthy habits – from recycling to choosing sustainable mobility options – after the pandemic is over. 

“I’d like to think that our generation is also more aware of the problem of how single car use is affecting our environment.” – Nicolas from France

Therefore, even if a member of Gen Z decides to buy a car, they often would prefer to buy an electric vehicle. “I think oil is a terrible industry, and I always said if I get a car, it will be an electric one.” – Amy from Switzerland

Gen Z sees cars as one part of a larger mobility system

Members of Gen Z are the world’s future employees. Being able to understand their needs creates an open-minded, convenient, and sustainable working environment that’s conducive to productivity and efficiency. 

Trafi’s mobility budget product for businesses provides employees with a variety of sustainable mobility choices, all of which are accessible from one app – and that has Gen Z written all over it.

Read more about Trafi for Business here.

Scaling Berlin: We Won the Jelbi Tender

We have big news to share: we won the Jelbi tender! Berlin’s public transport authority Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) selected us out of 10+ competitors to power and scale their platform.

With around 45,000 vehicles integrated into the platform, and being used by approximately 8% of the city’s population, Jelbi was the first and is now the largest multimodal Mobility-as-a-Service platform in the world.

Trafi x Jelbi: A Strong Partnership

Those of you who follow us online might already associate Trafi with Jelbi. (Maybe you’ve checked out our webpage or read our case study.) We built the Jelbi platform 2.5 years ago, and we’ve been developing and maintaining it in close collaboration with BVG and the Jelbi team ever since.

We were originally approached by BVG in 2019 and asked if we were interested in building a new MaaS platform that would connect the city’s growing number of private mobility services with local public transport services and a journey planner. Naturally, we said yes, and with BVG’s help, we built the platform and launched it a few months later.

Since launch day, Jelbi has expanded to include a wide variety of mobility modes, along with Jelbi “stations”, which are vehicle and service hubs located near high-foot-traffic areas throughout Berlin. (The Jelbi stations are very popular with Berliners.)

In addition to all public transit, the platform has integrated around 45,000 vehicles, including bikes, scooters and mopeds. We’re also proud to say that the App Store rating for Jelbi has never gone below 4.0, and currently has a rating of 4.7, the highest of any available MaaS platform.

How We Won the Jelbi Tender

Even though we were selected for the initial building of Jelbi, we knew from day one that we would be up against many other industry players when it came time to officially compete for the Jelbi tender. After going through a competitive process, we’re pleased to have been selected to continue with the project.

“We’re proud to continue our mission of decarbonizing mobility and encouraging the shift to sustainable transport. Now that we’ve been selected to scale up the Jelbi platform to a never-before-seen size and level of complexity for MaaS, it paves the way for similar initiatives in the future.”

Martynas Gudonavičius, CEO of Trafi

The selection criteria were varied, but we were chosen mostly for our user-friendly and practical app design, our previous experience with city tenders, and our uniquely deep integrations.

Our mission is to create solutions that can help the world move towards sustainable mobility and away from carbonized private transport. Now, as we look to scale the world’s largest MaaS platform in Berlin, we’ll stick to what we know best: building flexible, accessible mobility products that people love to use.

Check out the official Jelbi website or learn how we help cities build and maintain their own mobility platforms.

Climate Action and Net-Zero Ambition: Best Practices for SMEs?

This is a joint publication by Cathleen Berger (Climatiq), Chris Hartgerink (Liberate Science), Indré Blauzdžiūnaitė (Trafi), Vineeta Greenwood (Wholegrain Digital).

We all know that climate action is urgent. We also know that the private sector is responsible for the lion’s share of global greenhouse gas emissions. This is why we feel the need to do our part: assume responsibility, reduce and mitigate our impact, and accelerate global climate action.

Yet, we find ourselves at a conundrum. Though part of the private sector, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are neither required nor necessarily supported in their sustainability journeys.

Achieving Net Zero: Challenges for SMEs

There are three primary challenges faced by SMEs:

  • Lack of scope 3 guidance. Understanding an organisation’s environmental impact generally requires a solid assessment of the amount and the activities that generate emissions. There are direct and indirect emissions (scope 1 and 2) as well as emissions that are accumulated across an organisation’s supply chain (scope 3). Scope 1 and 2 are comparatively straightforward to calculate. However, between 80-99% of overall organisational emissions tend to fall within scope 3. As of now, SMEs are not required to account for their scope 3 emissions — which unfortunately translates into a lack of guidance for how to do so, even voluntarily.
  • Lack of clarity and methodologies for digital products. There is significant growth and investments to boost digitisation of products and services, both public and private. To little surprise, the emissions related to the tech and startup sector are noticeably rising. The biggest share of tech-related emissions come from data storage and operations as well as the use of those digital products by end users. Scope 3 Standard of the GHG protocol, the main guideline for scope 3 calculations, does not specify methodologies for digital activities. The situation gets even more complex when it comes to data collection – today, 60% of cloud-based operations are managed by three leading service providers and none of them are openly sharing emissions from networking, memory, compute, data storage, or the lifecycle emissions of servers. 
  • Lack of net-zero targets applicable to SMEs. Science Based Targets (SBTs), the initiative helping companies to set the goals for carbon reduction, launched a simplified guideline for SMEs in 2020. Ironically enough, the simplification merely cuts away the main “polluter”  — scope 3 emissions. In other words, 90% of the footprint of digital SMEs don’t have to be reduced, thus there’s no way for the majority of startups to become net-zero. 

One thing should be clear: To meet global targets of staying within the 1.5°C global warming threshold, we need everyone. Including small and medium enterprises.

Best Practices for SME: 4 Examples for Climate Action

As we are continuing to explore the space of scope 3 calculations and reduction, we are stepping up and assuming responsibility as stewards in SMEs. We got together to share best practices, learn from each other, and collaborate to drive change. Practical steps may differ but the direction is very much the same. With this, we hope to pave a way for other SMEs as well.

To illustrate this is how we tackle these challenges in our respective organisations:

  • Climatiq: Est. 2021 | Employees: 10 | Headquarter: Berlin, Germany

Climatiq has applied to become a certified B Corporation. In doing so, we are committed to report on all 3 scopes of our emissions publicly and continuously (building on our own science-based backend solution for carbon intelligence). While as an SME we may not get net-zero certified, we will continuously monitor and apply best practices for reduction. 

  • Liberate Science: Est. 2019 | Employees: 2 | Headquarter: Berlin, Germany

    Despite only a handful of people in our organization, we estimated our emissions for our first operating year within a matter of hours, with the help of a climate impact expert. The knowhow and thinking about sustainability is business-efficient, once it is available. We need to do more to make that knowledge available to SMEs.
  • Trafi:  Est. 2014 | Employees: 100 | Headquarter: Vilnius, Lithuania

    Besides calculating our digital footprint and removing the emissions that cannot be reduced, Trafi scales the transparency and detail on companies’ scope 3 emissions, with the focus on commuting. We help organisations to view, track and report the impact of their employees’ travel and, most importantly, incentivize sustainable commuting. 
  • Wholegrain Digital. Est: 2007 | Employees: 20 | Location: London, UK

    Wholegrain Digital is a certified B Corp, 1% for the planet member, has a Green Handshake policy and aims to be one of the UK’s most sustainable businesses. We estimate our scope 3 emissions and reduce them through innovative initiatives and we offset our CO2 emissions as well. We share our impact and ethics reports. Beyond Scope 3, we also estimate, reduce and offset our client’s digital emissions through championing the creation of low carbon web products. Our Website Carbon calculator project is a part of our knowledge sharing practice that helps others to also measure and reduce their own digital carbon footprint.

Join us and spread the word

The EU Taxonomy will only start applying to SMEs by 2025, though mandatory corporate sustainability reporting currently remains the sole responsibility of larger companies. We want to encourage more SMEs and digital companies to start embarking on this journey now and to hear from those who already did. By 2025, the climate clock will only have four years left. Time’s ticking.

Are you a small or medium sized company committed to climate action? We’d love to hear from you! We welcome additional signatories and invite you to share your experiences with us through this form

We will follow up with all of you and plan to convene a few best practice sharing sessions in the coming months.

How mobility hubs increase MaaS usability

The final part of a commute or journey is often the trickiest for travelers. Whilst a mainline train or metro service might get them into the city, getting to that station from their homes in the first place can prove difficult enough that they simply opt to drive instead.

Even in the city, with access to more public services and shared micro-mobility options, it’s not a seamless experience. Whilst travelers may easily start a trip on a public bike or e-scooter, ending it can involve having to go out of the way to find a designated parking bay. Though some cities allow ‘free roaming’ where scooters and bikes can be parked anywhere, this risks leading to eyesores and public nuisances with sidewalks cluttered and paths blocked.

To overcome the challenge of convenience, better enable the last part of travelers’ journeys, and increase the appeal of shared mobility in the process, cities are turning to a new, innovative solution: mobility hubs, such as those that BVG has opened up in Berlin and integrated into their Jelbi app

A menu of mobility

Placed at designated points on streets and near major transit stations, mobility hubs bring together a selection of shared mobility options in one place. Depending on the size of the hub, these can feature anything from some scooters and bikes right through to larger shared mobility options like mopeds, cars, or vans. With convenient access to this menu of mobility, travelers can more easily find what they need and quickly switch between transport options.

An added benefit of mobility hubs is their highly visible presence in public spaces. They’re usually situated close to stations or placed in strategic spots along the street. In reclaiming space from private car use, cities can present shared mobility as a new, viable alternative travel option.

But their appeal doesn’t stop there. Advanced mobility hubs have other beneficial features such as covered communal rest areas, charging points, and informational points (e.g. digital screens with real-time public transportation information).

Powering a mobility hub-filled future

A Jelbi Station in Berlin set next to a bus stop offers easy access to e-scooters, e-bikes, e-moped, cars, and even vans. ©BVG

In Berlin, BVG is leading the charge on mobility hubs having successfully deployed several hubs across the city, near to S-Bahn and subway stations. Integrated into their award-winning Jelbi App (powered by Trafi), the mobility hubs come in two varieties: Jelbi Stations are larger mobility hubs that include cars and vans, and smaller ‘Jelbi Points’ offer access to micro-mobility options.

Since mobility hubs exist to bring shared mobility services together, integrating different mobility offerings is key to success. It’s not enough to just have the options available in one place. Even with a selection of mobility options available, a mobility hub’s appeal is limited if a different app and account are needed for each mobility option. Giving travelers an option that doesn’t involve time-consuming app-hopping is a much better alternative that encourages the use of MaaS.

The world’s leading mobility-as-a-service solution

The Trafi MaaS Suite powers mobility within major cities around the world. Boasting the largest network of deep integrations with mobility service providers, we make it effortless for users to switch between mobility options with just one app. 

Our users can find, book, travel with and pay for all the services in their city with just one app. At the tap of a smartphone screen, they can view real-time transit information, unlock vehicles, buy tickets and customize their travel experience. Fully white-labeled, our solution can be tailored with your company’s brand details like logos and colors, making it truly a part of your existing transit network for users.

Book a demo or reach out to

We’re carbon neutral

We’ve joined the global movement to fight climate change and become carbon neutral: As of today, we have officially achieved climate neutrality!

Today, only large corporations are required to report on their emissions and overarching sustainability strategy. But as a digital SaaS company, we also have an important role to play – our data storage and IT operations also consume energy. If more digital SMEs were to report on their emissions, it would encourage action across the industry.

Martynas Gudonavičius, CEO of Trafi

Our journey to becoming carbon neutral has followed three steps: calculation, reduction and offsetting. 

Calculating our footprint was done in collaboration with South Pole, a leading global climate solutions provider. South Pole helped calculate our footprint across all aspects of the business, including indirect emissions that come from our users.

We emitted a total of 615 tons of CO2 in 2020, which is the equivalent of what approximately 134 passenger vehicles emit annually.

The calculations helped to identify which business areas across our four offices in Vilnius, Berlin, London and Paris were causing the most pollution and to raise goals for reduction. 

The planet, people and profit are at the heart of our sustainability strategy, and we actively make holistic improvements based on these three P’s, or ESGs, as they’re known in the sustainability sector. 

To focus on the planet, we switched to remote-first operations a year ago. Our HQ in Vilnius is now used only for in-person meetings when necessary, which reduces the environmental impact caused by daily operations and employee commutes. We also opened a new sustainability department to lead the strategy, reach ESG targets and engage in global sustainability initiatives. 

We also take the health of our employees seriously. We prove it by prioritizing the well-being and mental health of our people, promoting diversity, and encouraging participation in social volunteering projects for local NGOs. We’ve also signed a partnership with Mindletic, a wellbeing program for employees.

To offset our remaining emissions, we partnered with Patch, a platform designed to help companies reduce their footprint, to create a unique, diverse portfolio of carbon investment and credits.

100% of our emissions have been offset with credits from certified projects supporting reforestation, forestry and access to water supply. Aside from traditional projects, we’re also investing in innovative carbon removal initiatives. We recently invested in a pioneering kelp ocean carbon project that harnesses the power of the ocean to capture and sequester CO2 and sink it deep into the ocean.

Working hand in hand with sustainability pioneers like Patch will help pave a new road for green tech. We’re already using Patch’s API to offset our operational footprint, and we’ll be able to calculate the emissions of each trip and allow our clients to offset them in real-time in the near future.

Martynas, CEO of Trafi

Additionally, we’re expanding our product portfolio to focus on combatting emissions in the private sector. With our new company mobility budget tool – basically, a future-oriented alternative to the company car – we want to tackle sustainable mobility at the often-overlooked corporate level. Companies of all sizes can now use our corporate mobility platform to address emissions caused by commutes, track their environmental impact, and gain valuable insights that will allow them to set sustainability goals more effectively.

We’re proud to officially be carbon neutral, and we’ll continue to find ways to reduce our environmental impact in the coming months!

For more information about our sustainability strategy, check out our new webpage here.

maas tender tip 3

MaaS Tender Tip #3: Plan in stages

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.

Stage 1: Gather and prepare your data

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. 

Stage 2: Integrate a journey planner

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. 

Stage 3: Integrate MSPs and third parties

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: 

Stage 4: Add your user interface

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.

For more information on how we help cities launch and grow mobility networks, get in touch or check out our webpage.


Trafi Talks with Daniel Reck

Daniel Reck is a researcher at ETH Zurich. His work aims to advance our understanding of emerging transport modes (shared e-scooters and e-bikes, carsharing and ridehailing) and their integration with public transport (Mobility-as-a-Service, mobility hubs) to inform policymaking that creates more efficient, sustainable and equitable cities.

As part of our Trafi Talks series, we sat down with Daniel to talk about three topics he’s explored at length throughout his career (and taken from the publication he co-authored, MaaS Bundle Design):

  • MaaS bundle design
  • Behavioral change and MaaS adoption
  • Sustainable mobility 

Let’s jump right into it!

What are the key components of a successful mobility bundle design?

D: That depends on how you define success. Success could mean a behavioral shift towards more sustainable transport modes, but it could also mean commercial success. Identifying what success means in your organization and then following a goal-oriented bundle design process is probably the most crucial part of mobility bundle design. In my experience, a very simple truth holds for mobility bundle design: input is strongly related to output. For example, if you include lots of free e-scooter minutes in our bundle, you will incentivize lots of e-scooter usage. In turn, if you include subsidized public transport season tickets in your bundle, you will incentivize public transport use. Simplicity is also key to attracting and retaining customers.

A very simple truth holds for mobility bundle design: input is strongly related to output.

In our recent paper on MaaS bundle design, we synthesize 10 design dimensions for mobility bundles to assist researchers and practitioners in designing future trials and products. These design dimensions include, for example, which transport modes to include, which metrics to employ to measure consumption and budgets, the type and granularity of discounts, and further details such as subscription cycle lengths and roll-over options. We describe each design dimension in detail with practical examples from the case studies we have worked on, and further review the scope and gaps in the academic literature on the topic.

Another key influencer for successful MaaS adoption is very human: willingness to pay. How can we encourage users to do just that?

D: This is simple: if MaaS provides added value to users, willingness to pay will follow. How can MaaS provide added value? First, simplify their lives: one app for intermodal trip planning, booking and payment, instead of many. The Trafi-powered implementations in Switzerland (Yumuv) and Berlin (Jelbi) are great examples here: users can plan, book and pay for a trip with several different modes all in one app.

Second, financial incentives: MaaS bundles can offer discounts. One example are the Yumuv bundles in Switzerland. There, bundle users pay no unlocking fee for shared mobility services. This is valuable and users are likely to be willing to pay for it. Maximizing willingness to pay is complex, though, as demand for mobility is highly individual. Our studies in Switzerland have shown that including additional services can sometimes even decrease willingness to pay if users see no added value but have the feeling that they pay for it.

In general, who should be encouraging a mental and behavioral shift towards shared mobility, and how should they be doing it?

D: First, let’s clarify that shared mobility is not always good, and shouldn’t be a goal in itself. Research has shown that life-cycle CO2 emissions of shared micromobility services, for example, are worse than those of personal e-scooters and e-bikes due to lower lifetime expectancies and operational services (rebalancing, recharging).

“Efficient public transport systems will always be the backbone of sustainable urban transport.

I think a lot of people want to travel more sustainably, they just need the right tools to do so. Intermodal MaaS apps can be of great use here. Reliable, efficient public transport systems will always be the backbone of sustainable urban transport. However, we also need more awareness of the true costs of private car rides. In Switzerland, for example, TCS (Touring Club Suisse) calculated that fuel costs only make up 15% of the total costs per kilometer of private car rides. When comparing the car with other transport modes, many just consider fuel costs. This is obviously a skewed comparison that calls for correction.

Finally, employers have an important role to play. In Germany, for example, many employers provide their employees with company cars. What if, for example, they would provide their employees with MaaS bundles that include public transport season tickets instead?

Imagine a city with a perfectly functional mobility ecosystem. Walk us through this vision of perfection. 

D: In my view, five defining characteristics of functional mobility ecosystems are accessibility, efficiency, equity, sustainability and safety.

First, transport is about providing accessibility. In a perfectly functional mobility ecosystem, accessibility should be high, and it should be high not only for some, but for all.

Second, efficiency relates to how much space an average person needs to move from A to B, and how much transport is required overall. In this aspect, many cities, and cars in cities, are terribly inefficient. Micromobility and public transport are already much better. Increasing efficiency means decreasing the space required for transport. In today’s cities (and much more so in future cities), we are running out of space so we need to increase their efficiency. One way to do so in transport is reducing the number of cars. Did you know that in some cities, 20-30% of the total space is occupied by streets and parking spots?

We need to ensure that those with few alternatives don’t get left behind.

Third, equity in transport relates to situations when certain social groups benefit more from public investments than others. For example, higher income groups travel more regularly in airplanes and long-distance trains and thus over-proportionately benefit from investments in airports and long-distance train networks. With so many new mobility services entering our cities these days (e.g., shared e-scooters and bikes, carsharing and ridesourcing), we need to ensure that those with few alternatives also benefit from increasing accessibility and don’t get left behind.

Fourth, sustainability relates to total life-cycle emissions of the mobility ecosystem, which we should naturally aim to reduce. This includes CO2 emissions but also other emissions such as noise. And last but not least, safety is another very important characteristic of functional mobility ecosystems.

For further reading, you can find Daniel Reck’s papers on Mobility-as-a-Service and shared mobility on his personal website:

To find out more about how Trafi’s services are encouraging the shift to MaaS, check out our website or get in touch.


MaaS Tender Tip #2: Incentivize your users

MaaS is still a fairly new concept. As such, lots of people living in your city might need to be incentivized to use your new platform. There are a couple of different ways to do so, such as bundles and subscriptions, vouchers, discounts, and promotions. No matter how you choose to incentivize your users, all methods should be explicitly mentioned in your tender. 

Below, we’ve highlighted three ways to incentivize your users to try out (and, hopefully in the long run, really use) your mobility platform. 

Incentive #1: Bundles and subscriptions

“Bundles”, a term often used interchangeably with subscriptions, have been proven to increase MaaS adoption and encourage people to leave their private vehicles at home. By offering a flat rate for paying for a combination of preferred mobility options – the alternative would be the classic “pay-as-you-go” method – users are encouraged to try out new mobility modes and tailor their travel experience to their liking, which is what Mobility-as-a-Service is really all about. The customization and flexibility that comes with subscriptions is a huge bonus for new users. Who wouldn’t want to be able to ride a bus, rent a bike or hail a taxi all in one day without having to pay for three individual services? 

Incentive #2: Vouchers

The tried-and-true voucher method is one of the simplest and most effective ways of encouraging the use of shared and new mobility services. Digital vouchers that can be redeemed with the swipe of a smartphone screen not only users money, they also enhance the digital user experience and add a dash of gamification to your mobility platform. 

Incentive #3: Discounts and promotions

Closely related to vouchers and basically operating on the same principle, discounts on individual rides (or with specific MSPs) are obvious ways of convincing your users to take advantage of shared mobility services. They’re so popular, in fact, that they’re sometimes used to drum up renewed interest in existing public transportation networks. You might want to discuss options with your individual MSPs once you have them onboard, as they have existing marketing and promotion teams in place who would no doubt have ideas on how to create and implement a successful promotional campaign. (They offer similar incentives to their users quite frequently.)

The three incentives above have been proven to encourage MaaS adoption in multiple cities across the globe. How, when and if you’ll use them is up to you; every city has different needs, after all. In any event, it’s important to discuss these adoption tactics and include these incentives in your MaaS tender.

Stay tuned to our blog and social channels as we share more on our MaaS tender tip series in the weeks to come!

For more information on how we help cities launch and grow mobility networks, get in touch or check out our webpage.

MaaS Tender Tip #1

MaaS Tender Tip #1: Clearly define the roles of your stakeholders

If you work for a city and you’re interested in launching a new MaaS network, there are many different things to consider before you start sending out requests for tenders, such as: 

What types of MaaS solutions are out there? How can you transform a mobility-as-a-service network from a theoretical project into a tangible, product-based service that people actually want to use? Which stakeholders should be included in your MaaS networks, and what roles should they be allowed to play?  

Before your tender is written, the proverbial floodgates have been opened and the bids start pouring in, it’s helpful to have a clear answer to the above questions. We’ve tapped into our expert network and asked our experienced team to compile a list of essential tips for cities looking to launch their own private-public MaaS network. Without further ado, here’s MaaS tender tip #1.

MaaS Tender Tip #1: Clearly define the roles of your stakeholders

The stakeholders in any MaaS network can be divided into four main groups, with few exceptions: you (the city), your tech or software provider, MSPs, and third parties. 

The City

Cities are the backbone of MaaS systems. The role of the city is to own and oversee the entire MaaS platform; you’re the one who had the idea of simplifying and streamlining your mobility system to provide a valuable service to your citizens, after all. 

Cities should manage: 

  • Data. Cities should own all the data generated by a MaaS platform. This lets cities keep the responsibility of improving and enhancing the mobility network, assuring equitable MaaS growth, and making smart, data-informed decisions. 
  • Contractual relationships. You’re the unbiased project managers helping to organize this MaaS network; contracts should lie within your realm of responsibility.
  • Physical infrastructure. You have it, maintain it, expand upon it as necessary and own this topic. This includes the building of new mobility hubs and universal charging stations.
  • End user (people!) relationships. Who understands the people living in a city better than the city itself? The city is best positioned to manage promotions, advertising and user implementation and acquisition strategies. 

The Tech Provider

Some cities like to try and build their own tech team in-house. Their attempts are often unsuccessful. That’s for the simple reason that while they’re working on so many other aspects of building a MaaS platform, cities don’t have the time and resources to develop a capable tech team. That’s where your MaaS tech/software provider should step up and assist you. 

  • Platform setup and configuration. It’s your provider’s job to create flexible, modular platform architecture that can handle any integration. They should build a white-label app and brand it with your city’s logos and colors – your users need a seamless, stylish app to engage with your mobility platform. 
  • Journey and route planning. Tech providers should offer a multimodal routing engine tailored to the city’s specific needs. This also includes real-time journey planning that offers optimal routes according to traffic conditions and other factors, including maps.
  • Back office management. Cities obviously want to measure the success of their mobility platforms, and to do that, they need the help of strong back office tools that can handle customer service requests, provide solid analytics, and deal with fraud detection and GDPR rules. 
  • Testing, training and maintenance. One of your tech provider’s most vital tasks is managing platform operations. That means everything from testing the platform pre-launch, to training team members on how to use the platform, to fixing bugs and maintaining the platform long after your users are cruising around town on it. 

The MSPs

MSPs, aka mobility service providers, are the kick scooters, shared cars, taxis, bicycles and any other shareable, privately owned vehicles that want to be integrated onto your platform. These companies should manage:

  • Technical integration. MSPs are responsible for a smooth integration and opening their APIs.  
  • Commercial terms. MSPs should be willing to integrate deeply into your platform, meaning their services should be bookable and payable through your new app.
  • Operations, maintenance and branding. MSPs manage the locations and upkeep of their vehicles and of course continue to promote and maintain their own brand reputation.

Other Third Parties

Last but most certainly not least, other “third parties” are crucial components of any MaaS platform. They have their own highly specific topics to focus on:  

  • Single-sign on (SSO) functions. This authentication service provides a seamless, easy login process.
  • Payment service providers. PSPs enable payment structures across all vehicle and mobility types, from purchasing bus tickets to paying for scooter rides. 
  • Ticketing providers. No ticketing providers, no in-app digital tickets for your users!
  • Document/ID verification. To validate driver’s licenses for car and moped sharing or rentals, you’ll need to integrate a dedicated document verification service into your platform. 

    That’s it – the four main categories of stakeholders and their uniquely important roles have been clearly defined. That’s a great first step towards writing an excellent MaaS tender.

    Stay tuned to our blog and social channels as we share more on our MaaS tender tip series in the weeks to come. (Next up: defining your mobility offering!)

    For more information on how we help cities launch and grow mobility networks, get in touch or check out our webpage.