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Mobility cards key to introduction of government-backed app

Providing employees with individual multi-mode mobility cards that could be used to pay for travel is vital to the success of government plans to help introduce a mobility solution.

ACFO chairman John Pryor

ACFO chairman John Pryor

That’s the view of ACFO as the Transport Select Committee investigates ways to launch an all-encompassing transport app that would optimise travel planning and cost comparison for fleets.

Responding to the Transport Committee inquiry calls for written evidence on Mobility as a Solution (MaaS), ACFO warned that there are already numerous apps, for journey planning and ticket holding, from various business travel agents, as well as apps for recording and the submitting of expenses but said the ability of a company to join them together was “fairly rare”.

In line with the organisation’s ongoing work to support the industry shift from fleet to professional mobility management, ACFO said: “MaaS will only work if government departments/agencies and local councils work together on a joined-up system that will allow flexibility. The integration of transport in not just timetables, but payment systems. The ability to have fully integrated opportunities to buy and use tickets is a must in a fully rounded MaaS system.”

ACFO also said that taxation was an issue that MPs also needed to consider if MaaS was to be adopted within the corporate sector.

The ACFO submission explained: “If a company is supplying a mobility card to employees would it be taxed on the cash element of the value that the company was paying as with other amounts, medical or dental charges? Any support that would encourage companies to offer this benefit for wider adoption would be beneficial.”

ACFO also cautioned that it was critical that technology providers were clear as to the capability of their travel solutions.

Chairman John Pryor added: “We support the Government’s aim in trying to push and understand MaaS, but ask that it also looks at the wider picture of what systems can do.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 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. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.