Drivers and Barriers for Integrated Mobility Services

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As more people move to cities and urban areas are growing, demand for urban transport increases. This leads not only to pressure on sustainability and climate goals, but also on the attractiveness and liveability of urban areas. Thus, it is necessary to decrease the use of private cars and create a modal shift towards more sustainable modes of transport, such as walking, cycling and public transport. In this context, the introduction of Integrated Mobility Services, IMS (or Mobility as a Service, MaaS), is more and more often brought forward as one key driver to enable such a shift. As the term suggests, integrated mobility services integrate a range of mobility services (e.g. public transport, car sharing, bike sharing, taxi etc.) and provides one-stop access to all services through a common interface, hence creating a seamless customer experience. If different transportation modes are combined in a manner that enables multimodal travel and increases vehicle utilisation rates and vehicle occupancy, such services could help cities deal with problems such as urban congestion, transport-related pollution and accessibility. This paper reviews the literature on Integrated Mobility Services with a focus on what previous research says about drivers and barriers for implementing IMS. To structure the results, the review is guided by the analytical framework of the IRIMS project. This framework draws upon institutional theory, which defines institutions broadly; ranging from societal regulations, planning processes, and consumption patterns, to individual habits and practices. Furthermore, these institutions are found at various levels: the macro level includes the national level where national visions, action plans and goals, as well as legislation, subsidies and taxes are generated. The meso level includes a variety of institutions; public institutions on the regional and local levels, private organisations, public/private hybrids and not-for-profit civil society actors. Finally the micro level includes the individual in her capacity as citizen, as taxpayer, but primarily as customer and user of IMS. At all three levels (macro, meso and micro), barriers and enablers can be both formal (e.g. legislation) and informal (e.g. norms). On a macro level, government has an important role in relation to integrated mobility services both related to creating preconditions for implementing IMS, and to protecting public interest. The subsidization of tickets for public transport, and the implications of this for the role of Public transport within IMS seems to be a key issue, and a related question concerns the boundaries between state subsidized mobility services and commercially viable services, and how these can be combined in IMS solutions. The government could also use taxation policy, financing programs and regulations concerning data availability and standardization as measures to create an enabling environment for IMS. The discourse surrounding IMS at societal level is a strong driver for action, with IMS being presented as a panacea able to solve problems ranging from urban congestion and climate impact of transportation to economic growth and social inclusion. On the meso level, regional and local authorities have an important role to create an enabling environment for IMS regarding the physical infrastructure for public transport, bike infrastructure, carsharing services etc. On the informal side, a major driving force for getting IMS up and running is the perceived business opportunity in the nascent IMS market, not least for private actors. Several actors need to collaborate for a scalable integrated mobility service to materialize. This can be organised in a “business ecosystem”, where multiple actors add services from their core businesses into a whole that constitutes the integrated mobility service offering. If an offer of integrated mobility services is to emerge within a reasonable timeframe, one actor within the business ecosystem needs to take the lead, but in order for the system to survive, all required actors in the ecosystem must benefit from its existence. An interesting dimension relates to what different actors in the IMS ecosystem perceive is their role in relation to new mobility services, and the implications of different actors taking the lead. It is yet unclear who will/should take the role as service integrator. The question of different actors finding their role in the IMS ecosystem is made even more interesting by the fact that not only automotive OEMs and public transport operators are looking into ways of innovating using IMS, but also telecom, retail and media organisations. The extent to which these different actors, from different backgrounds, complement or compete with each other is a question yet to be settled. Public transport is generally seen as a backbone in integrated mobility services, and many public transport operators wish to take the lead in the development of new services, which they see as a complement to their existing services. On the other hand, private third party organisations could be seen as better suited to create service offerings that cater to other customer groups than the traditional public transport customers. The decision to sell public transport tickets through a commercial IMS integrator lies with the public transport operators, which could be a substantial barrier to IMS implementation with commercial IMS integrators. Integrated mobility services require a mobility platform that combines the different modes into one integrated service, and a major enabler for IMS is hence the rapid development within ICT. But although a number of such platforms are now available at the market, only a few of these have been tested in other contexts than smaller pilots. At the micro level, several trends are supportive of IMS. Increased densification of city centres creates incentives for citizens to consider alternatives to own their own car. Changes in the cost of owning a car could also have a large impact on the demand for IMS. Furthermore, the growth of the “sharing economy” means services such as IMS are gaining more acceptance among consumers. Research on IMS point to several kinds of potential customer benefits, such as personalised service, ease of transaction, ease of payment, dynamic journey management, and journey planning based on personal preferences. The primary customer base is likely to be “flexi travellers” who can often travel by public transport but also need other means of transport on a regular basis. This customer base will experience a well-functioning integrated mobility service as a very price-worthy alternative to private car ownership, and thus have a high willingness to pay for it. However, research within behavioural economics shows that customers generally tend to overvalue current benefits and undervalue potential gains, resulting in a status quo bias, which means attracting enough customers to a new type of mobility service will be a challenge.


Enheter & grupper
FörlagK2-Sveriges nationella centrum för forskning och utbildning om kollektivtrafik
Antal sidor26
VolymK2 Working Papers
StatusPublished - 2017


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