One of the main goals of the IP4MaaS project is to advance the uptake of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) schemes by analysing and testing technologies developed under the Innovation Programme 4 (IP4) of the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking. Now, the project has investigated passengers’ needs and requirements concerning travel apps through a survey held among more than 1,000 people.
The survey, which was led by project partner Cefriel, aimed to gather information related to the IP4 functionalities (such as trip planning, disruption notifications, etc.) directly from potential final users. Specifically, the survey was administered to travellers of each demonstration site (Barcelona, Athens, Warsaw, Osijek, Liberec, and Padua), with the purpose of gathering their interest and expectations with respect to specific IP4 functionalities.
Overall, the idea is that the insights derived from the survey data can be of help in providing feedback to IP4 solution providers, as well as informing the actual IP4MaaS experimentation.
Considering the fact that the survey respondents were not expected to have any background information about IP4 or the main topics of the project, only certain IP4 solutions were selected to be investigated based on their ease of understanding and use by general travellers (e.g. companion app, trip planning). The most complex and advanced ones were disregarded (e.g. best price optimisation, location-based experiences). Participants were asked to rate certain functionalities according to level of interest, preference or perceived usefulness.
The survey was implemented on the Coney toolkit, a conversational survey system that administers the questions through a chat interface, to improve the respondent’s experience and to engage them to provide sincere and reliable answers. The survey was translated from the original English version into other 6 different languages (Italian, Spanish, Polish, Croatian, Czech and Greek) in order to increase its acceptance and response rate in the demonstration sites. In total, 1027 respondents finalised the survey from 1 March 2022 to 14 April 2022.
Results show that all IP4 solutions that were presented in the survey recorded a high interest and relevance in the high majority of respondents. Below, we highlight some outcomes.
As shown in the survey, for the journey planning phase, travellers much appreciate the possibility of having an app which includes all possible means of transports and all different service providers in the same place.
Moreover, 86% of respondents considers very important the functionality that can display in the app the total costs of all the suggested travel solutions.
Furthermore, the integration of a zoomable and interactive map, which lets users navigate all the computed travel solutions and displays all the travel-related relevant content (name of roads, bus stops, stations, etc), is perceived useful by almost all respondents (93%).
Services during the travel
The app allows users to receive up-to-date information on the journey. Almost all the users would like to be informed in real time on the different stops, transport mode changes, departure and arrival times while they are travelling.
The survey confirms that all presented IP4 features provide an added value to travellers and that the research and innovation direction of IP4 is indeed touching upon a clearly perceived need of European people.
‘The ultimate goal of IP4MaaS is to create a more sustainable Europe by making public transport more attractive. By listening to passenger’s needs and expectations, we have made a very important first step and this survey results reassure us that we are on the right path towards achieving this goal.” Irene Celino, Head of Knowledge Technologies Group at Cefriel