First round of awards for Mobility as a Service investment fund
In the 2018/19 Programme for Government Scottish Government committed a £2 million three year investment fund, to support the testing of the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) concept in Scotland.
Central to the MaaS concept is providing people with easy, digital access to travel information, so they can be better informed as to the different ways to access, undertake and pay for journeys. The funding aims to test, in practical application, the viability of MaaS in Scotland.
This will support delivery of the National Transport Strategy which recognises the importance of embracing new technologies that are beneficial to society.
The MaaS Investment Fund (MIF) was opened to applications in June earlier this year and focused on three themes for MaaS solutions – rural and island communities, tourism and tackling inequalities, mobility and accessibility challenges.
Applicants were asked how their MaaS solution could address Government ambitions to lower carbon emissions, encourage more active travel and enhance digital skills across Scotland.
The Fund closed in September with two of the eleven submissions now approved for funding. The projects are:
• HITRANS, for a pilot that will offer a regional, multi-modal journey planning system using real-time data, offering an account-based payment system that is available to all users for all participating mobility options
• Enable from Tactran, for a project working with partners to aim to improve the booking, planning and paying service, including rewards for active and sustainable modes, and a monthly payment option for users.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure & Connectivity, Michael Matheson said:
“We want to help Scotland to become an international leader in Smart Mobility. These initial awards from the first year of the Mobility as a Service Investment Fund are an important step towards unlocking this potential for innovation.
“The concept has the potential to transform the way we use transport by making public and shared transport options as desirable as using our car. The award of funding for these projects can grow the evidence base for MaaS by developing and testing digital solutions that encourage and enable modal shift to public and active transport alternatives.
“It’s about increasing simplicity and reducing barriers for those choosing to travel and encouraging them to choose sustainable options. All of which can make a significant contribution to a healthier and more sustainable Scotland.
“I look forward to hearing more about the performance of these projects as they develop over the coming months.”
Dr Alastair McInroy from MaaS Scotland said:
“The initial projects approved for funding through the Scottish Government’s MaaS Investment Fund are hugely exciting, not just for their ambition and scale but also for their success in bringing together public and private partnerships to deliver new solutions.
“This type of collaboration will be essential as we look to position Scotland as a world leader in MaaS, delivering the benefits that this will bring to our cities and rural areas.
“We look forward to seeing the early results of these projects and we will continue to work with project partners and the wider community to deliver and upscale MaaS solutions across Scotland.”
The MaaS Investment Fund is planned to have a further round of applications for funding in 2020, opening up more opportunity for bids from interested organisations and partnerships.