maas tender tip 3

MaaS Tender Tip #3: Plan in stages

When it comes to launching a MaaS platform, time is usually of the essence. Due to the sheer amount of other actors involved, building a new network is simply not a project you’ll want to drag out indefinitely. You have a growing need for a MaaS network that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. That’s why it’s helpful to plan in stages, and specifically to include those stages in your tender outline before sending it out for bids. 

It’s worth being specific on this: we’re talking about the technical stages of launching your MaaS network, not pre- and post-launch to-do’s like user research and promotional campaigns.  

Generally speaking, there are four main technical stages to launching a MaaS network.

Stage 1: Gather and prepare your data

Sounds complicated, but what we really mean by “gathering your data” is collecting and analyzing the public transport data your existing transportation system is already generating on a daily basis. This data can then be processed and prepared with a data management platform. 

Stage 2: Integrate a journey planner

A journey planner is the bread and butter of any mobility-as-a-service app. A well-designed journey planner will cover and be able to compare trips taken on public transport, bikes, kick-scooters, taxis, car sharing and an often-overlooked category: walking. Your journey planner should be built with a routing engine that adjusts routes according to real-time traffic conditions and can even adapt to cultural needs – for example, in some countries, people don’t mind walking longer distances to reach a station. 

Stage 3: Integrate MSPs and third parties

Exactly what it sounds like: get your MSPs on-board as soon as your multimodal journey planner has been integrated. Start with your “essential” MSPs first – the ones already being used in your city – and concentrate on their core services. At the same time, you should be integrating your payment and SSO providers in preparation for the final stage: 

Stage 4: Add your user interface

A finely tuned journey planner and a long list of freshly integrated MSPs mean nothing if your users can’t access them through your brand-new, all-in-one MaaS app. Don’t underestimate this stage: as soon as a user decides the app interface is hard to use, confusingly designed or just plain ugly, they’re likely to stop using the app and your new platform and never look back. Always try to focus on your users, rather than getting too “caught up” in the technical side of your MaaS solution. 

As a city, you’re best positioned to understand what your users really need, and there’s no harm in leaving the technical expertise to your tech provider. Launching a MaaS network is a group effort, after all, and each stakeholder has a uniquely different role to play. If you plan in stages, and include those stages in your tender, you’ll be in a good position to effectively collaborate with the other stakeholders who are helping you build your network.

For more information on how we help cities launch and grow mobility networks, get in touch or check out our webpage.


MaaS Tender Tip #2: Incentivize your users

MaaS is still a fairly new concept. As such, lots of people living in your city might need to be incentivized to use your new platform. There are a couple of different ways to do so, such as bundles and subscriptions, vouchers, discounts, and promotions. No matter how you choose to incentivize your users, all methods should be explicitly mentioned in your tender. 

Below, we’ve highlighted three ways to incentivize your users to try out (and, hopefully in the long run, really use) your mobility platform. 

Incentive #1: Bundles and subscriptions

“Bundles”, a term often used interchangeably with subscriptions, have been proven to increase MaaS adoption and encourage people to leave their private vehicles at home. By offering a flat rate for paying for a combination of preferred mobility options – the alternative would be the classic “pay-as-you-go” method – users are encouraged to try out new mobility modes and tailor their travel experience to their liking, which is what Mobility-as-a-Service is really all about. The customization and flexibility that comes with subscriptions is a huge bonus for new users. Who wouldn’t want to be able to ride a bus, rent a bike or hail a taxi all in one day without having to pay for three individual services? 

Incentive #2: Vouchers

The tried-and-true voucher method is one of the simplest and most effective ways of encouraging the use of shared and new mobility services. Digital vouchers that can be redeemed with the swipe of a smartphone screen not only users money, they also enhance the digital user experience and add a dash of gamification to your mobility platform. 

Incentive #3: Discounts and promotions

Closely related to vouchers and basically operating on the same principle, discounts on individual rides (or with specific MSPs) are obvious ways of convincing your users to take advantage of shared mobility services. They’re so popular, in fact, that they’re sometimes used to drum up renewed interest in existing public transportation networks. You might want to discuss options with your individual MSPs once you have them onboard, as they have existing marketing and promotion teams in place who would no doubt have ideas on how to create and implement a successful promotional campaign. (They offer similar incentives to their users quite frequently.)

The three incentives above have been proven to encourage MaaS adoption in multiple cities across the globe. How, when and if you’ll use them is up to you; every city has different needs, after all. In any event, it’s important to discuss these adoption tactics and include these incentives in your MaaS tender.

Stay tuned to our blog and social channels as we share more on our MaaS tender tip series in the weeks to come!

For more information on how we help cities launch and grow mobility networks, get in touch or check out our webpage.

MaaS Tender Tip #1

MaaS Tender Tip #1: Clearly define the roles of your stakeholders

If you work for a city and you’re interested in launching a new MaaS network, there are many different things to consider before you start sending out requests for tenders, such as: 

What types of MaaS solutions are out there? How can you transform a mobility-as-a-service network from a theoretical project into a tangible, product-based service that people actually want to use? Which stakeholders should be included in your MaaS networks, and what roles should they be allowed to play?  

Before your tender is written, the proverbial floodgates have been opened and the bids start pouring in, it’s helpful to have a clear answer to the above questions. We’ve tapped into our expert network and asked our experienced team to compile a list of essential tips for cities looking to launch their own private-public MaaS network. Without further ado, here’s MaaS tender tip #1.

MaaS Tender Tip #1: Clearly define the roles of your stakeholders

The stakeholders in any MaaS network can be divided into four main groups, with few exceptions: you (the city), your tech or software provider, MSPs, and third parties. 

The City

Cities are the backbone of MaaS systems. The role of the city is to own and oversee the entire MaaS platform; you’re the one who had the idea of simplifying and streamlining your mobility system to provide a valuable service to your citizens, after all. 

Cities should manage: 

  • Data. Cities should own all the data generated by a MaaS platform. This lets cities keep the responsibility of improving and enhancing the mobility network, assuring equitable MaaS growth, and making smart, data-informed decisions. 
  • Contractual relationships. You’re the unbiased project managers helping to organize this MaaS network; contracts should lie within your realm of responsibility.
  • Physical infrastructure. You have it, maintain it, expand upon it as necessary and own this topic. This includes the building of new mobility hubs and universal charging stations.
  • End user (people!) relationships. Who understands the people living in a city better than the city itself? The city is best positioned to manage promotions, advertising and user implementation and acquisition strategies. 

The Tech Provider

Some cities like to try and build their own tech team in-house. Their attempts are often unsuccessful. That’s for the simple reason that while they’re working on so many other aspects of building a MaaS platform, cities don’t have the time and resources to develop a capable tech team. That’s where your MaaS tech/software provider should step up and assist you. 

  • Platform setup and configuration. It’s your provider’s job to create flexible, modular platform architecture that can handle any integration. They should build a white-label app and brand it with your city’s logos and colors – your users need a seamless, stylish app to engage with your mobility platform. 
  • Journey and route planning. Tech providers should offer a multimodal routing engine tailored to the city’s specific needs. This also includes real-time journey planning that offers optimal routes according to traffic conditions and other factors, including maps.
  • Back office management. Cities obviously want to measure the success of their mobility platforms, and to do that, they need the help of strong back office tools that can handle customer service requests, provide solid analytics, and deal with fraud detection and GDPR rules. 
  • Testing, training and maintenance. One of your tech provider’s most vital tasks is managing platform operations. That means everything from testing the platform pre-launch, to training team members on how to use the platform, to fixing bugs and maintaining the platform long after your users are cruising around town on it. 

The MSPs

MSPs, aka mobility service providers, are the kick scooters, shared cars, taxis, bicycles and any other shareable, privately owned vehicles that want to be integrated onto your platform. These companies should manage:

  • Technical integration. MSPs are responsible for a smooth integration and opening their APIs.  
  • Commercial terms. MSPs should be willing to integrate deeply into your platform, meaning their services should be bookable and payable through your new app.
  • Operations, maintenance and branding. MSPs manage the locations and upkeep of their vehicles and of course continue to promote and maintain their own brand reputation.

Other Third Parties

Last but most certainly not least, other “third parties” are crucial components of any MaaS platform. They have their own highly specific topics to focus on:  

  • Single-sign on (SSO) functions. This authentication service provides a seamless, easy login process.
  • Payment service providers. PSPs enable payment structures across all vehicle and mobility types, from purchasing bus tickets to paying for scooter rides. 
  • Ticketing providers. No ticketing providers, no in-app digital tickets for your users!
  • Document/ID verification. To validate driver’s licenses for car and moped sharing or rentals, you’ll need to integrate a dedicated document verification service into your platform. 

    That’s it – the four main categories of stakeholders and their uniquely important roles have been clearly defined. That’s a great first step towards writing an excellent MaaS tender.

    Stay tuned to our blog and social channels as we share more on our MaaS tender tip series in the weeks to come. (Next up: defining your mobility offering!)

    For more information on how we help cities launch and grow mobility networks, get in touch or check out our webpage.