MaaS Global exploring Toronto as potential market for MaaS
Following early successes in Finland with investors such as a French transport giant Transdev, the leading car-industry family of Turkey Karsan and the leading car dealership business group in Finland Finnish Veho Oy Ab, MaaS Global is poised to enter North America seeking new markets to launch its all-in, smart mobility app, Whim.
MaaS, short for Mobility as a Service, stands for combining all forms of transport related services into a single app. Whim stitches together and handles payments and ticketing in a real-time using public transport, taxis, car shares/rentals, bike shares and such and offers those with monthly subscription and pay-as-you-go bases.
MaaS Global is globally looking for new markets to launch Whim. Currently one of the most interesting markets being looked into is Toronto, Canada. The Greater Toronto Area, MaaS Global’s prime choice for Whim in North America, is a megaregion of 25 municipalities in five sub-regions, of which Toronto is home to about 40% its 6.6 million people.
Currently, the GTA is served by multiple public bus transit organizations, interurban rail, subway, Uber, bike share, several car shares, and over 5 000 registered taxis operated by several private taxi companies. This, in addition to about 3.5 million private cars, makes the GTA a prime candidate for realizing the value of MaaS—completely simplifying daily commuting and trips.
MaaS Global is represented in Canada by Bern Grush and Jerry Boyer, who are already in discussion with several local transport service providers and early signs are looking promising:
“What interested me in Whim is MaaS Global’s promise to match the mobility convenience of a personal automobile at far lower costs”, says Boyer and Grush agrees: “I’ve been searching for an alternative to owning a car and Whim ties together the current piece-meal choices into a single optimized service, providing real time route planning, hassle-free payment and reduced cost.”
MaaS Global aims to launch Whim in Canada in less than a year. Whim has promised to change urban travel forever and CEO and Founder of MaaS Global Sampo Hietanen states: “In today’s world, Whim will be better to you than your own car. Instead we will give you access to several great cars. It also encourages the use of public transport, which means cleaner cities with less traffic jams. There’s huge business potential for transport providers, too, as more convenient mobility will bring them more customers. Our aim is to join forces with as many providers as possible, because together we’ll be able to offer an amazing service.”