Transport and Covid-19: responses and resources

A blueprint for the urban mobility revolution

New study: “Mobility as a Service” could make travel in cities user-centric and climate-friendly

Urban mobility is at a crossroads. The transport options offered in our cities create opportunities, underpin prosperity and connect people with each other. They also carry costs: in terms of safety, health, equity, efficiency and environmental harm – most fundamentally for the global climate.

A new study shows how cities and businesses can address this contradiction.

“The Innovative Mobility Landscape: The Case of Mobility as a Service”, published by the International Transport Forum (ITF) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD):

  • reviews the changing landscape of urban mobility operators and services;
  • examines how Mobility as a Service (MaaS) can reshape urban travel;
  • identifies the main regulatory challenges to create a healthy MaaS ecosystem that delivers clear benefits to people and aligns with societal objectives.

The study’s key findings:

  1. Covid-19 has temporarily paused transport trends, creating challenges and opportunities.
  2. Mobility today offers more choice, has more layers, is more digital – which may shift travel.
  3. Urban mobility has the greatest potential to decarbonise.
  4. Mobility as a Service promises significant benefits from integrating mobility offers.
  5. Mobility as a Service requires an effective framework for regulation and data governance.

These key messages are underpinned by 13 recommendations for decision-makers in cities and national governments on how to adopt Mobility as a Service as a concept, how to enable it in practice and how to support MaaS once it is in place:

How to adopt Mobility as a Service:

  1. Anchor the governance of MaaS in a strategic vision.
  2. Understand how MaaS can add value for users.
  3. Guide MaaS to achieve agreed societal outcomes.

How to enable Mobility as a Service:

  1. Choose a flexible, light-handed regulatory approach towards MaaS platforms.
  2. Choose a predictable regulatory approach and allow for evolution
  3. Enhance public transport authorities’ and operators’ ability to negotiate terms of sale and re-use of tickets with MaaS providers
  4. Base data-sharing frameworks on the principle of “as open as possible, as closed as necessary”.
  5. Build data portability into the MaaS ecosystem by default.
  6. Consider common building blocks for sharing data.
  7. Establish data reporting requirements that are proportionate and targeted to outcomes.

How to support Mobility as a Service:

  1. Adopt complementary policies in other areas to ensure that the MaaS ecosystem contributes to desired policy outcomes.
  2. Invest in the built environment and interchange facilities.
  3. Public authority skill sets will need to evolve to improve their capacity to regulate and assess digital markets.

Young Tae Kim, ITF Secretary-General, said on occasion of the report launch:

“Mobility as a Service means giving citizens easy access to a wide range of well-integrated travel options. If set up the right way, MaaS can contribute massively to make urban transport sustainable without limiting peoples’ mobility. This report offers practical guidance for public authorities and urban transport stakeholders to make this happen.”

Thomas Deloison, Director Mobility at the WBCSD, said:

“To decarbonise transport in line with net-zero targets, we need to enable a shift to lower-carbon modes and use vehicles more efficiently without compromising on people’s access to jobs, health and education. Mobility as a Service can reduce carbon emissions from global passenger travel by 5% to 20% while increasing transportation options for users. This report provides a blueprint for sustainable urban mobility and outlines the areas where business can help policymakers adopt MaaS at scale.”

Representatives from contributing WBCSD member companies also commented on the study:

Hugo Salaun, Chief Marketing Officer, Arval – BNP Paribas:

“Business has a double role to play to speed up MaaS adoption: first by collaborating to create attractive value propositions but also by adopting MaaS to promote sustainable mobility behaviours for their own employees.”

Keiichi Kitahara, General Manager, Nissan Mobility Services

“Nissan is focused on bringing future innovation to mobility, which is evolving rapidly and challenging norms. This report helps businesses and policymakers navigate the new mobility landscape by offering recommendations for creating a Mobility-as-a-Service ecosystem that delivers clear benefits to people and the environment.”

Filippo Bettini, Chief Sustainability and Future Mobility Officer, Pirelli

 “This report is a beacon for policymakers and business leaders who want to make urban mobility safer, cleaner, more efficient and inclusive. It addresses governance challenges and the potential of new technologies to improve sustainability outcomes.”

Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of the Board, Toyota Motor Corporation:

“This report comprehensively and systemically addresses the current context for urban mobility, developments of Mobility as a Service and recommendations for policy instruments, based on deep knowledge and insights by ITF and experts across the world.”

Ralf Pfitzner, Head of Sustainability, Volkswagen AG

“Mobility as a Service can support urban development but is not automatically green and sustainable. Setting the right framework and regulation based on impact assessments is, therefore, crucial to provide tangible contributions to city sustainability goals and to generate business opportunities for companies.”

Download the free report:

Join the webinar and discuss the report findings with the authors on 13 September 2021, 15:00 CEST. Registration:

Media contacts:

International Transport Forum
Michael Kloth                                                                                                    
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World Business Council for Sustainable Development
Julia Mitic
Associate, Cities & Mobility 
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