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Seinäjoki to be first to make MaaS a reality?

In Seinäjoki, MaaS (Mobility as a Service) is advancing at a rapid speed towards a concrete pilot project. Background support for the pilot project and, in a broader context, the modernisation of passenger traffic is provided by policy guidelines included in the new Government Programme.

According to the Government Programme, the Government wants to reform publicly-subsidised (the state, municipalities, Kela) passenger traffic. The Government has set a target of savings of 10 per cent, starting from 2017. The Government wants to implement this reform by utilising new types of market-driven, innovative service concepts, achieved via changes in the legislation. By employing digitalisation, a culture of experiments and new business concepts, the Government also wants to create a more extensive productivity leap in public services.

The operational logic of transport services currently relies heavily on services acquired and determined by the public sector. New business models and practices can be used to shift transport services closer to an open-economy logic where all parties benefit.

Everyone benefits

The payers of services, i.e. municipalities and the state, benefit via lower costs, while service providers can achieve a higher volume and users obtain better services.

The mobility change potential is estimated to be 14 per cent of current mobility needs. A shift of only a few per cent from private cars to purchased transport services could mean double the net sales for transport service providers operating in the City of Seinäjoki. Customers no longer face challenging transport chains or problems related to connecting services, since all of their transport service needs can be handled through one service desk.   The authorities, for their part, gain better use of the transport services purchased by them, and the general share and cost-efficiency of public transport services increases.

Seinäjoki is moving toward a MaaS pilot project in stages

The Seinäjoki project’s first stage has encompassed an assessment of transport services and the digitising of transport data into an open database. Moreover, concepts and ideas for new transport services have been created, while attempts have been made to make Seinäjoki one of Finland’s national experimentation environments for transport services. Open application development has also been initiated.

The second stage encompasses transitioning towards a MaaS-oriented Seinäjoki. The basic premise of local MaaS is transport operators providing the residents of a city and region with flexibly priced transport service packages, which comprise public transport, demand responsive transport and taxi transport at the regional and local levels. MaaS services want to attract customers whose needs are not met by basic public transport. The key matter to consider is that MaaS cannot take off without cooperation between local and regional authorities. Transport services acquired by the authorities form the basis for all services, and businesses can create their own MaaS products on top of this.

The participants of the Seinäjoki project have been making preparations for the first MaaS experiments in cooperation. The objective is to launch the first experiments in Seinäjoki in 2015.

Towards scalability and international markets

Sito is heavily involved in the scaling of digital MaaS services and MaaS operator activities in Finland and, in the future, possibly also neighbouring markets featuring similar operating environments.

In addition to Sito, the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment and the City of Seinäjoki, the following actors are participating in the Seinäjoki project: local-transport operator Härmän Liikenne, Pahkakankaan liikenne, Seinäjoen Keskustaksi Oy, Taksiliiton yrityspalvelut Oy, Geotech IT Oy, DDS and many other parties who are still negotiating.