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A mobility as a service (MaaS) platform provides a single point of access, typically an app, for people to visualise, plan, book and pay for journeys combining different transport modes.

Simplifying the arrangement of these multi-modal journeys improves their convenience and therefore increasing their attractiveness relative to journeys carried out entirely by a private vehicle. MaaS can help to link charging infrastructure with other transport modes and make the process of interacting with each mode simpler.

Transport Scotland’s mobility as a service investment fund

MaaS technologies are developing in Scotland. Transport Scotland’s £2M mobility as a service investment fund has awarded funding to five projects with the aim to ‘test, in a practical application, the viability of MaaS in Scotland.’ More information on the fund can be found on its dedicated Transport Scotland webpage.

Energy Saving Trust engaged with recipients of round one of the fund including the regional transport partnership for the Highlands and Islands (HITRANS), and the regional transport partnership for Tayside and Central Scotland (Tactran) on their respective projects. HITRANS also received funding in round two. The image below comes from the HITRANS Go-Hi app website and illustrates the variety of integrated transport modes included.

An overview of the HITRANS and Tactran MaaS projects follow.

Travel options available to users of HiTRANS’ Go-Hi app
  • HITRANS have developed Go-Hi, a transport accessibility app that provides information on a wide range of transport modes available across the Highlands and Islands. The app allows users to book and pay for their journey in one place.

    A key focus of the Go-Hi app is to make access to sustainable and active travel options simpler.

    The project aims to integrate electric vehicle chargepoint access into the platform, alongside a wide range of transport mode options.

    Further information on the platform can be found on HITRANS’ website.

  • The region-wide Tactran MaaS platform, the ENABLE platform, powers three services: Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and Dundee and Angus College each have their own integrated travel app.  NHS Tayside provides an online journey planner for patients and staff.  Each service aims to increase access to sustainable transport and make integrated travel easy.  The user focus in initial design has driven large numbers to use the services now they are live.  By working with disability groups, all current and future developments will help the widest range of travellers.

    Further information on the platform can be found on the ENABLE website.

    • MaaS technologies and platforms are well established, with a significant local skillset available.
    • Early and robust engagement with potential partners helps to build understanding and buy-in for projects. Using established relationships is also an effective approach.
    • The integration of each transport service into the MaaS platform is an iterative process that varies in complexity on a case-by-case basis.
    • MaaS technologies can function as a transport planning tool by highlighting which transport services are in greatest demand in a particular area.