The Role of Micromobility and How It Has Helped the Whole MaaS Ecosystem to Grow

By MaaS Global • June 9, 2022
Jasmin Rimmele and Robert From

At ITS Toulouse 2022, MaaS Global CEO Sampo Hietanen together with Voi’s Jasmin Rimmele, UCL Energy Institute’s Maria Kamargianni and TPF’s Clément Brosy took part in a panel titled ‘Mind the gap – perceived value of MaaS vs car ownership’ where they discussed the value perception of cars, how to approach decreasing the amount of private vehicles on the roads and to advance the MaaS ecosystem. As part of the panel, we interviewed the participants on their topics to learn more about their thoughts.

Voi and Whim’s recent data analysis shows that the Whim users in the Helsinki region like to combine e-scooters with other modes of transport, especially public transport. Data shows that 53 % of the rides in the Helsinki area are made by combining them with public transport. All in all, in Europe micromobility has become hugely popular in recent years, and it clearly plays a role in solving the first/last mile problem when public transportation stations are far away from the final destination. In fact, according to Jasmin Rimmele, Senior Manager Public Transit & MaaS Strategy at Voi the global average ride time on an e-scooter is between 10-12 minutes, or roughly 1.2 km.

Micromobility also has an essential role in mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) as a part of a larger mobility ecosystem.

“Serving first and last mile is key to making mobility-as-a-service successful, but these solutions need other modes to incorporate it successfully. Fewer modes means less use overall,” says Rimmele.

She emphasizes the role different mobility providers and modes of mobility have towards increasing the use of public transport. This is important for economic growth but also for the continued development of more sustainable modes of transport and collaboration for a safe and fun way to commute. Micromobility can also boost public transport’s image and create brand awareness as a part of a bigger ecosystem.

“The image is important. Some might consider public transport old-fashioned now, and we can improve this through micromobility. Collaboration between transport service providers brings new awareness towards commuting in general and makes it more accessible to a wider audience,” notes Rimmele.

Accessibility is in favor of making MaaS a better option compared to private cars. Continued collaboration between service providers ensures more choice of modes of transport with a lower price and less maintenance for the user. But collaboration with cities is also essential, says Rimmele.

“We need to make sure we have the necessary operations in place and everything follows the local regulations, but we also need to provide certain densities. Micromobility options should be everywhere the users are and should be visible even without the app.”

Another aspect of MaaS is sustainability. Reducing pollution as well as noise caused by traffic in cities and reallocating roads and parking spaces to other things is a natural part of MaaS thinking, but in order for this to work, transport providers need to have a close discussion with cities about how to reinvent them to make them more habitable and use their infrastructure in the best ways.

“I think discussion about carbon emissions often overshadows the discussion on the trust we need to be able to build a greener future. In order to be truly sustainable, everyone in the ecosystem has to trust and support one another, and this includes opening data. Sharing and understanding the data in the ecosystem can be used to improve the infrastructure that benefits everyone,” summarizes Rimmele.