Under the helm of UITP, the IP4Maas project tested intelligent mobility solutions for better mobility in cities across Europe
The project started with an analysis of the landscape from the travellers’ point of view
Creating a more sustainable, seamless and inclusive mobility system with digital tools: over the last two and a half years, this has been the mission of the IP4MaaS project.
Under the helm of UITP (the International Association of Public Transport), the IP4MaaS project sought to advance the uptake of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) schemes in Europe, by analysing and testing existing MaaS technologies and solutions, and assess them in terms of effectiveness, market acceptance, and user satisfaction.
Strengthening rail as the backbone of mobility
Instead of developing new technologies, the IP4MaaS project tested solutions developed under the Innovation Programme 4 (IP4) of the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking (Shift2Rail became ‘Europe’s Rail’ in early 2022). IP4 is a framework addressing and designing IT solutions for attractive railway services, with the ultimate aim of making rail the real backbone of the multimodal, door-to-door and seamless transport system of the future.
IP4MaaS’ main aim was to act as a “bridge” between the needs and requirements of Transport Services Providers (TSPs) and travellers, and the technologies developed within Europe’s Rail. Its challenge was to provide the individual IT solutions developed in Shift2Rail/Europe’s Rail projects, combining them into solutions suitable for specific demonstration scenarios in different European areas.
In its role as bridge between European TSPs and CFM (Call for Members – Partners from CFM Projects, created following a call for members amongst industry actors) technology providers, IP4MaaS had a key responsibility in making this link seamless. Therefore, mapping technologies was at the foundation to understand how to facilitate the co-operation for the best value for European citizens.
The project started with an analysis of the landscape from the travellers’ point of view, through a survey and a social media mining experimentation, resulting in a clearer picture of the needs and expectations of citizens with respect to mobility services
The project started with an analysis of the landscape from the travellers’ point of view, through a survey and a social media mining experimentation, resulting in a clearer picture of the needs and expectations of citizens with respect to mobility services and technological supports to their journeys.
After, the mobility pain points for each demo site were identified, seeing how IP4 solutions could solve them. Finally, the actual integration of the TSPs in the ecosystem took place.
Six demos across Europe
IP4 technologies were demonstrated in six European sites (Padua, Liberec, Barcelona, Athens, Warsaw, Osijek) involving different transport operators.
The tested technologies, like journey planning, trip tracking, trip sharing, are all brought together in the so-called Shift2Rail Travel Companion application, which was the application passengers got to test.
In each demo site, different technologies were tested. In Athens, the demo focused on enhancing multi-modality by providing journey planning and integrated ticketing through a single app, involving several transport modes (metros, buses, taxis, bikes and walking).
While full results are still being assessed, first insights of the Athens demo showed that the overall feeling among passengers was very positive, as they were excited to know that attempts are being made to develop a step towards MaaS in Athens. However the demo assessment also highlighted significant challenges, mainly related to technological and legal aspects.
Other demos tested, among others, integration of e-car and e-bike sharing schemes into the public transport network (Osijek, Croatia) and tools that can be used on long international distances (Warsaw, Poland – Liberec, Czech Republic).
Collaboration was key in the IP4MaaS project: it allowed us to plan, execute and monitor our demos and furthermore was fundamental for the successful integration of the different transport service providers
“Collaboration was key in the IP4MaaS project: it allowed us to plan, execute and monitor our demos and furthermore was fundamental for the successful integration of the different transport service providers,” comments Giuseppe Rizzi, project manager, UITP, and IP4MaaS coordinator.
While results of the IP4MaaS demos are currently still being assessed, project partners achieved to provide the link to connect TSPs, travellers and their needs to the technologies developed within Shift2Rail. In its demos, the project involved both “traditional” and innovative transport modes, and tested the IT solutions developed within Shift2Rail with hundreds of users in different contexts.
These activities allowed the project to test the technology and get from real travellers and TSPs a direct feedback, allowing stakeholders to improve the ecosystem and making an additional step towards the achievement of Europe’s Rail ambition of affirming rail as the backbone of the (multi-modal) transport system in Europe.
Find out more
Curious to read about all demo results? Keep an eye out on IP4MaaS channels, where soon a full wrap-up report will be disseminated.
For more information: www.ip4maas.eu
This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.
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