Challenges and Implications of Mobility as a Service (MaaS)

Challenges and Implications of Mobility as a Service (MaaS)

Luísa Gonçalves (Câmara Municipal de Leiria, Portugal & Escola Superior de Tecnologia e Gestão, Instituto Politécnico de Leiria, Portugal & INESCC, NOVA IMS, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Portugal), João Pedro Silva (Escola Superior de Tecnologia e Gestão, Politécnico de Leiria, Portugal), Sara Baltazar (Escola Superior de Ciências Empresariais (ESCE), Instituto Politécnico Viana do Castelo (IPVC), Portugal & Research Center for Systems and Technologies (SYSTEC), University of Porto, Portugal & Institute of Systems and Robotics (ISR), University of Coimbra, Portugal), Luís Barreto (Applied Research Center for Digital Transformation (ARC4DigiT), Escola Superior de Ciências Empresariais, Instituto Politécnico Viana do Castelo, Portugal & Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal) and António Amaral (Escola Superior de Tecnologia e Gestão, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1614-0.ch001


This introductory chapter provides a synopsis of the underlying factors that enable the existence of the mobility as a service (MaaS) concept and its role regarding the improvement of the performance of transportation systems. Therefore, several considerations are made to contextualize MaaS in modern societies explaining not only its main functions and advantages but also the challenges facing its widespread implementation.
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Driving is, for most of us, an essential part of our everyday lives (Hu et al., 2015). People are in constant movement in order to work, for leisure and to socialize (Boero et al., 2016) increasing the need to have access to their main interest points. In all regions, may they be urban, suburban or rural, mobility has a vital impact on accessibility and in ensuring social inclusion. Mobility choices have therefore significant implications not only in social and economic terms but also for the environment.

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is a recent innovative transport concept with the goal of introducing changes in the current transport practices namely, by integrating public and private transport services in a single mobility service, which is accessible on demand (Meurs, Sharmeen, Marchau, & van der Heijden, 2019).

In this context the MaaS concept stems from people’s necessity to access different points, planning their own trips and adopting the most suitable proper means of transport to use. Therefore, it can have an important role in the mobility paradigm shift towards more sustainable transport systems (Hesselgren, Sjöman, & Pernestål, 2019), encouraging the use of cleaner transport modes (Boero et al., 2016), thus reducing car usage as well as releasing urban space and reducing congestion (Hesselgren, Sjöman, & Pernestål, 2019).

However, there is still a high degree of ambiguity surrounding the concept with multiple sources offering their own definitions of MaaS, dealing with different aspects and views of the concept. In addition several challenges and implications still exist and several authors consider that there is a lack of an assessment framework to classify MaaS characteristics in a systematic manner (Jittrapirom et al., 2017).

The present chapter gives an overview of some Challenges and Implications of MaaS, which are later developed and discussed in detail in each chapter. In recent years, the degree of awareness of the need to integrate city planning practices and measures with the mobility infrastructures has gradually increased which in turn has improved the quality of life for citizens. This has also positively impacted the environment. These procedures play an important role in the definition and development of the next generation of mobility systems.

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