Govt releases Mobility as a Service code of practice


The Government has released a Mobility as a Service (MaaS) code of practice for app developers, companies and authorities supporting integrated multi-modal journeys.

Described by officials as 'a voluntary, guidance-based approach', the code provides a list of recommendations to support MaaS app platforms such as Citymapper, which provide data on different journey options.

Ministers highlighted that such technology platforms can bring together planning and payment into one app, and it is 'hoped that this could lower the cost of journeys for travellers, by ensuring more choice and competition'.

The new code covers accessibility and inclusion, enabling active and sustainable travel, data considerations to facilitate MaaS, multimodal ticketing and competition.

It also offers specific technical and regulatory advice with reference to relevant legislation.

Among the key recommendations, the code of practice suggests that MaaS platforms consider accessibility needs when suggesting routes, such as providing wheelchair-friendly step-free directions.

The guidance also recommends that app providers consider the personal safety of users, such as allowing people to choose 'main roads only' options as well as providing the option to share their live location with a contact.

The Government recommends app users are given information about the potential carbon dioxide (CO2) impact of their journey choice using the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) emission conversion factors.

It also urges MaaS platforms to share anonymised passenger travel data to support transport operators’ planning and operations activities.

Technology and decarbonisation minister Jesse Norman said: 'With the new code of practice, the Department for Transport (DfT) is encouraging app providers to make the most of the new technology, helping to ensure potentially vulnerable groups and communities are not left behind.'

In 2020, the Department for Transport awarded funding to Solent Transport as part of its Future Transport Zones programme to develop a MaaS app for the region.

The new app, Breeze, allows passengers to plan, book and pay for journeys across public transport, cycles, e-scooters and ferries. It also provides information about how busy services are and suggests the greenest way to travel.

Max Sugarman, chief executive of Intelligent Transport Systems UK (ITS UK), said: 'As the £90m Future Transport Zones and the Scottish MaaS Investment Fund show, the implementation of MaaS is already having real benefits across the UK, but there is far more that could be done in rolling out further applications.

'Alongside this Code of Practice, we urge the Government to continue its support for MaaS schemes, particularly through the continued backing of the Future Transport Zones post-2024/25, and explore other regions across the UK where MaaS could be rolled out.

'With Government’s assistance, the UK can support a more integrated, end-to-end transport system, speed up the decarbonisation and digitalisation of the transport network and deliver economic growth, investment and jobs in a growing intelligent transport sector.'

Maas is defined as ‘the integration of various modes of transport along with information and payment functions into a single mobility service'.

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