The main goal of IP4MaaS is to analyse and test technologies developed under the Innovation Programme 4 (IP4) of the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking, hereby supporting the uptake of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) in Europe. But how will the project do so exactly? And what are some of other initiatives by Shift2Rail that promote multimodal travel?
We spoke to Gorazd Marinic, Programme Manager at the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking, about how projects such as IP4MaaS take on the challenge of improving passenger experience and advancing sustainable mobility.
Can you explain how the IP4MaaS project fits into Shift2Rail’s IP4?
IP4 is developing components and services to support all steps of a seamless multi-modal journey. These innovations are being integrated, and to evaluate the real value for the passenger and for the participating transport service providers, they need to be demonstrated (piloted) in real life. IP4MaaS is here to support this activity by coordinating the pilot activities, providing use cases, methodology for data collection and analysis, and means to measure the attractiveness of IP4 solutions to various user groups.
What are, according to you, the biggest current challenges for the uptake of MaaS in Europe?
The key success factor for the passenger is the ease of use and added value provided by the MaaS solution. The customer experience here needs to ensure the offer is easy to discover, the pricing is clear, comparable and competitive, payment is smooth, and the overall experience is at such level to allow for a seamless use of a number transport modes instead of one (own).
To enable such experience and provide an attractive mobility offer (e.g. MaaS apps), one of the challenges is for transport service providers (TSPs) to provide the data and services to participate to these schemes. Big part of the innovation is on the business model and the business case needs to be clear. Finally, legislative support is needed in order to ensure access to data (and services), allow for multimodal ticketing, and passenger rights throughout the whole multimodal travel chain. The European Commission is already tackling these challenges e.g. with the revision of the ITS Directive, the revision of Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/1926 (EU-wide multimodal travel information services) etc.
How will the project contribute to Shift2Rail’s goals to advance multimodal travel in Europe?
IP4MaaS has the important task to show that the MaaS innovations developed within IP4 can bring value to the customer. The IP ecosystem has a strong potential to substantially increase the attractiveness of rail and we are confident that the integrated solutions will be well received by the end users – passengers as well as the transport service providers. This should help stimulate the passengers to consider using more green means of transportation, such as rail, in combination with other, shared modes of transportation and overall contributing to lowering the environmental impact.
Can you share with us some of the other Shift2Rail initiatives that should enhance multimodal travel and rail in Europe?
Within Shift2Rail there are several projects and technical demonstrators that aim to improve the travel experience directly or indirectly. The most visible ones are e.g. those increasing the comfort by reducing noise and vibration, improving the service delivery with increased reliability and punctuality, seamless cross-border travel, train and station access, and perhaps less visible ones are the innovations that will further reduce its operating costs, allow for faster introduction of innovation etc. Jointly these innovations aim at making rail more attractive for passengers and thus making easier the decision to take a train combined with public and shared transport modes instead of taking a car.
Find out more about Shift2Rail’s IP4 here.