• Mobility Services
  • Mobility as a Service
  • Carsharing
  • Public Transit

Mobility as a Service Consolidation to Multi-Modal Platforms Strengthens Market

Smart Car 3

For urban areas around the world, mobility service options to get from point A to B are quickly expanding. A recent Guidehouse Insights report, Urban Mobility Innovations, projects urban mobility revenue to rise from $11.1 billion in 2018 to $39.8 billion in 2027.

Mobility Options Abound

However, the number of standalone options can seem overwhelming when trip planning. Multiple options for public transit, microtransit, ride-hailing, ridesharing, carsharing, bikesharing, and most recently scootersharing services have all come together to create a crowded and competitive mobility as a service (MaaS) market. This is even more overwhelming considering each service can have multiple business models, such as dockless versus stationed and subscription versus standalone.

Even with all these services, no single MaaS alone seems to provide a complete solution to all our travel demands. Where we start and end our trip, how much time we spend somewhere, and who or what we may bring with us are just a few of the variables that substantially affect our mobility choice. However, multiple services can be brought under a multimodal umbrella to make trip planning easier for users, which is a win for mobility providers and cities.

Consolidation Makes Mobility Easier
With some estimates of the global population living in urban areas growing from 55% today to 68% by 2050, governments are looking for ways to improve already existing issues with air quality and congestion. City officials with the goals to improve urban mobility and compete with personal vehicle usage have developed an interest in a one-stop shop for multimodal options aimed at reducing the barriers surrounding multimodal transit. Interest is also increasing on the consumer side as well. An all-inclusive app where trip planning, cost comparisons, and purchasing can occur in one place can reduce the time and effort needed to identify the best way to travel before a purchase is made.

Helsinki, Finland is on the forefront of this effort, where MaaS Global’s app Whim has launched. Whim brings public transportation, short taxi rides, car rentals, and bikeshares all under one roof. These services can be purchased as one-offs within the app, or users can commit to one of two subscription plans. Whim Urban gives unlimited public transit rides, flat fare taxi and car rental, and unlimited 30-minute bikeshare rides for €49/month ($57.20/month), while Whim Unlimited provides unlimited access to all those services for €499/month ($582.46/month). Similarly, Xerox worked with the city of Los Angeles to develop the Go LA app enabling multimodal transit there.

Dawn of the Multi-Modal Platforms

With a market full of so many options and a desire to capture more of the mobility market share, MaaS companies are also pushing to be the provider of multiple services to capture more trips and reduce dependency on personal vehicles. Uber has made a number of moves to become a mobility platform, including the partnership and ultimate acquisition of bikeshare company Jump, as well as its recent partnership with scootershare Lime (Lime is also considering launching its own carshare program). Lyft is also moving toward creating its own mobility platform, recently acquiring bikeshare Motivate and published its plan on incorporating bikes and scooters into the Lyft platform. Lyft also plans to offer discounts to people who use their bikes and scooters, and to enable planning of a multimodal trip within the app.

There is a clear push to create easier mobility solutions, and MaaS companies are adapting to meet that demand. These forces are coming together to kick off the beginning of a new era—an industrywide transition away from standalone mobility services toward more complete mobility platforms.