When one thinks of driving in the city, it’s typically an image of high congestion and endless traffic. Some urban areas are working to reduce this by providing more sustainable alternatives to city-mobility. This is called Mobility as a Service (MaaS). This approach involves providing transportation options beyond driving everywhere. Often that comes through rentals or ridesharing. MaaS stands to revolutionize the way people in urban areas get around. 

Read on to learn more about mobility as a service, how it benefits users, and what it looks like right now. 

What Is Mobility as a Service (MaaS)? 

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) integrates various elements of transportation needs into one on-demand service. It creates a centralized hub for any type of public transportation or mobility, like ridesharing, public transportation, e-bikes, and more. Typically, a system like this relies on the Internet of Things (IoT) to connect all of the devices involved in the process. 

For example, IoT connects the individual mobile devices with technology on public buses or to check out an e-bike downtown. The increase of digitization has made transportation systems like this possible. 

Benefits of Mobility as a Service

MaaS provides city residents and larger organizations with several key benefits: 

Increased convenience: For users, MaaS makes getting around easy. They’re able to access some forms of transportation from nearly anywhere in the city and quickly get from one place to another. For businesses, this convenience helps drive customers to their services, leading to business growth. 

Reduced carbon footprint: MaaS reduces individual dependency on a personal vehicle. That typically means there are fewer cars on the road. Instead, people are using more sustainable transportation options, like e-bikes, trains, and carpooling. The reduced CO2 emissions improves the city and helps businesses that offer MaaS services be more green. 

Cost savings: Individuals save money by using MaaS transportation. It’s more affordable to rent a scooter or take a rideshare to a destination than to own and maintain a vehicle. 

Improved safety: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that over 31,000 people died in car accidents in the first nine months of 2021 and 2022. MaaS reduces the number of cars on the road in a city by giving people access to alternatives. With fewer cars on the road, that boosts road and pedestrian safety in urban areas. 

Greater equity: Not everyone has access to individual cars. MaaS makes public transportation more widespread and accessible to more people. That, in turn, makes it a more equitable transportation system.

Key Components of MaaS

For a successful MaaS system, the network needs a few key elements:

Digital platforms: Users will need a way to access services. Typically this comes through some kind of digital platform, like a website or app. This platform might include route information and options to choose from for mobility. 

Payment methods: With MaaS, users will typically pay for transportation via the digital platform, often before a ride. A solid system will include an easy way to take and process payments instantaneously. 

Connectivity: All devices in a MaaS network need to be connected. If they’re not, users won’t be able to connect with transportation services and payments won’t reach businesses. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a connected network that works well to use with a MaaS system. Integration. MaaS is often more effective when everything is integrated into one platform. Users typically like to be able to access services, pay, and view routes all in one place.

Challenges and Solutions in Implementing MaaS

MaaS has been implemented in a variety of cities across the world. However, there is a major hurdle to utilizing MaaS fully: infrastructure. Cities without the right layout and resources to implement mass public transportation can struggle to fully take advantage of all the benefits of MaaS. 

For example, a city without trains or widespread bus routes will only be able to use ridesharing, bike and scooter rentals, and peer-to-peer rentals. Adding the necessary infrastructure for better transportation can also be costly, another challenge. Some cities are also limited by weather. Users will be less likely to rent a bike when it snows six months of the year. 

While these are challenges, businesses can use them as opportunities. A company that can find a way to offer MaaS options that meet the individual’s needs has much to gain. They can draw in customers from all over the city and become something the residents rely on regularly. 

Examples of Mobility As A Service

Businesses looking to offer MaaS transportation options in their cities will need to know what options are available. These are three of the most common MaaS examples that could be implemented in a variety of urban areas: 


Ridesharing is when individuals purchase a ride in a private vehicle. It typically increases carpooling and reduces the number of cars on the road. The two largest examples of this service are Uber and Lyft. Both of these companies utilize apps. The customers are able to pinpoint their destinations and “order” a ride. A driver using their own vehicle will then take them to their destination and receive payment for doing so. 

Peer-to-Peer Rentals

Peer-to-peer rentals are when someone will rent out their own vehicles to someone else temporarily. It’s a cost-effective alternative to car rental companies, and it helps make use of underutilized vehicles. One company that does this is Turo. It operates via an app and website where individuals can register their vehicles, and users can select which one they’d like to rent and arrange pickup and drop-off. 


Another option is renting micro forms of transportation. This often involves scooter, bike, and other easy forms of transportation. Companies will set up their vehicles around the city and create an app where users can check one out for a certain distance or amount of time. Often, these smaller vehicles can be picked up in one place and dropped off in another. 

Future Trends in MaaS

As MaaS continues to grow, there are certain trends that will increase in the next few years: 

More sustainability. Sustainable transportation is only going to increase in popularity. While MaaS may use any vehicle now, the future could include a higher emphasis on using eco-friendly vehicles. For example, electric cars and trains may be utilized more than fossil fuels. 

Better public transportation options. More and more cities are seeing the opportunities of having better transportation systems. As they increase availability, companies will be able to find new ways to integrate MaaS. 

Higher levels of integration. The city of St. Louis integrated its timetables with rideshare apps, so users could look at bus timetables in the same place they order rideshares. Most likely, this level of integration will continue to grow in the coming years.

Reliable Connectivity Is Key

Overall, MaaS has the potential to revolutionize urban mobility and build thriving transportation businesses. Mobility as a service heavily relies on connectivity in all its applications. To successfully integrate a MaaS product, companies will need a reliable IoT partner.

With unique pricing options and industry expertise, Simon IoT provides the reliable foundation you need to revolutionize your transportation and utilize MaaS to its full capacity.