UITP has held a final conference to bring a close to the IMOVE project – one of the first H2020 projects focusing on Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and that has investigated solutions for both improving the deployment and operation of MaaS and its underlying business models.
Led by our Deputy Director of the Knowledge & Innovation department, Guido Di Pasquale, the findings of the project were presented alongside key speeches, presentations and panel sessions.
The opening speech was held by UITP Secretary General Mohamed Mezghani, who captured the essence of IMOVE by referring to the project’s slogan ‘I (simply) want to move, I want to move (simply)’. “Mobility is changing as a consequence of the changing expectations of citizens and growing environmental concerns. People want to move more easily, in a more flexible way. This is where IMOVE came in.”
The first session “How to create a successful MaaS” called project partners, sister projects such as MaaS4EU and MyCorridor and external stakeholders to the stage. Moderated by DG MOVE’s Vctoire Champenois, the discussion focussed on questions about customer benefits and cross-border governance models. “MaaS is not the Netflix for mobility”, said Hans Arby from project partner Ubigo. “It is not a service that can easily be internationally marketed and scaled – what works well for one city might not work for the other.” A returning topic was the essential role of public transport as the backbone of MaaS. As highlighted by Piia Karjalainen from MaaS Alliance: “Talking about a cross-border MaaS, one thing the EU should do is facilitate the offer of high quality public transport as its backbone. This means support different member states in making sure we have the basic pre conditions.”
Session 2 welcomed the leaders of IMOVE’s Living Lab cities (Berlin, Madrid, Gothenburg, Turin and Manchester) to talk about a common EU approach for MaaS, public/private partnerships, and how the IMOVE project has supported them in implementing MaaS. This latter question gathered different answers: while Sam Li from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) emphasised the importance of the disruptive nature of projects such as IMOVE for city development, Marita Albrektson (Västtrafik) highlighted the possibilities of MaaS as an important tool to achieve sustainability.
The last session went ‘Beyond the IMOVE project’, looking at how project results can be transferred beyond its borders and lifetime. Alexandra Gorini from Y4PT gave insight into the IMOVE Ideathons: events where young people were encouraged to come up with innovative solutions related to sustainability and mobility. “The IMOVE Ideathons engaged people with very different background into issues such as public transport and pollution. Mind my words: the next generation of travellers and innovators is on its way!”
Taking the stage to talk about transferability of project results was Fabio Cartolano from Fit Consulting, who discussed how the IMOVE project has selected two ‘Innovation Pathfinders’ – Bologna Airport and Greek research institute CERTH – that will profit from trainings and advice on the implementation of MaaS schemes.
Final words came from Guido Di Pasquale, who highlighted the important role of IMOVE towards more sustainable cities where MaaS provides benefits for all involved stakeholders: for cities, for travellers, and for transport operators. “The IMOVE project has made a giant leap towards the deployment and scalability of MaaS schemes in Europe, whereby our Living Labs have been instrumental in facilitating the actual implementation of MaaS schemes. By trialing MaaS in different cities we have managed to provide guidelines and recommendations on how to implement a successful MaaS for a wide range of environments. Also the fact that IMOVE gathers such a diverse network of partners, from policy makers, to public transport operators, to private MaaS providers, means that we have been able to capture the complexity and specificity of different local contexts and interests.”