I’m pleased to be chairing a new working group in the DfT-sponsored Transport Card Forum (TCF). I’ll be reporting on progress to date at the annual two-day TCF event, TCF18, in Manchester in a couple of days’ time.
The new working group, WG27, is in search of a title. But first, let me explain what the objectives are.
There is clearly a desire to move towards progressively more integrated transport. Ideally, all forms of mobility would be working in concert: public and private modes available either on demand or timetabled to join seamlessly to ensure that passengers can get where they want when without the need for retaining their expensive and polluting personal cars. Whether or not this end goal is fully achievable, there will be many ‘baby-steps’ to take along the way.
The working group’s objective is to consider the impact that this migration towards better integration will have. The idea is that we will consider this from the strategic, commercial and technical angles. After six months or so, the intention is that the WG will recommend how the integration can be achieved to benefit of all the stakeholders involved.
The reason Consult Hyperion is interested in being involved in this WG is because we believe that Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is the ‘direction of travel’ for the transport sector. We’ve been doing a lot of thinking about MaaS recently and have started working with our first MaaS-Provider client. It feels like something genuinely new and exciting. And it is interesting because no-one knows how it is going to turn out.
At the same time, the world of payments if having a bit of a shake up with the emergence of Open Banking. Watch this space for a White Paper from Chyp in the next few weeks giving our view on how MaaS payments will be done in the future.
The WG will recommend how the integration can be achieved to benefit of all the stakeholders involved.
Now, this got me thinking: what integration and what stakeholders?
At the WG kick-off meeting at our offices in Guildford, I proposed that we define the work packages to consider the problem from the four different stakeholder groups that are emerging industry work on MaaS:
- Customer: The passengers themselves who need to get from ‘A’ to ‘B’.
- Mobility aggregator (a.k.a MaaS Provider): Organisations that offers mobility services to passengers in a convenient way by aggregating the transport operator and data provider offerings and provide the digital platform that allows passengers to conveniently plan, pay for and make their journeys.
- Data Provider: Organisations that aggregate relevant data from transport operators and other sources.
- Transport Operator & Local Transport Authority: The public and private organisations that actually operate the transport modes.
So far, we have 15 volunteers to be contributors in the WG. More discussion is needed, but I am expecting that at least four work packages will emerge based on the above segmentation and the volunteers will work in the ones best suited to their skills and experience. There may be additional work packages added if we see the need for overarching subjects to be tackled by the WG such as data privacy and standards.
We are keen to know if there are more volunteers out there interested in contributing.
But what about the WG title, I hear you say? Well, the placeholder name for the group is ‘the end-to-end journey’. Suggestions for the group name are welcome. My favourite so far is ‘Weapons of MaaS Integration’.