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Government-backed app aims to cut car use

The Transport Select Committee is investigating ways to launch an all-encompassing transport app, aimed at making shared and public mobility as easy as using a car.

Integrated transport app could get DfT support

Integrated transport app could get DfT support

‘Mobility as a Service’ (MaaS) is already a buzzword among the fleet industry but now the Transport Select Committee is to explore the potential of how a multi-mode transport app could get off the ground with the help of the Department for Transport and other bodies.

Recognising that current popular smartphone apps tend to focus on single transport solutions, such as Uber, the Transport Committee has highlighted how an integrated approach could reduce car usage and bring about “massive” benefits in terms of congestion and air pollution. The move follows a 2016 report by the Transport Systems Catapult that found MaaS “offers the potential to address many of the transport challenges facing society by engaging new business models and technology.”

From a fleet perspective, such an app would optimise travel planning and cost comparison, enabling drivers to find the most cost-effective and efficient solution for a particular journey without the need to trawl through multiple booking search engines.

Lilian Greenwood, chair of the Transport Committee, said: “Integrated MaaS is a much talked about concept, but it is not generally well understood. We want to increase public understanding; find out if the bold claims are justified; and, if they are, recommend ways the Department for Transport and others can support and facilitate its implementation in the UK.”

The Transport Committee inquiry calls for written evidence, including on overcoming the barriers to implementation of integrated, multi-mode MaaS apps in UK cities and looking at the role of central government, particularly the Department for Transport, in harnessing the potential of MaaS.

The deadline for written submissions is Friday 22 December 2017, which can be made via the Committee’s Mobility as a Service evidence portal.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.