This post is originally published in Blockchain.News.
Pursuit for improvement drives innovations in any sector, including transportation. The quest for efficient and fast traveled to the invention of trains and other mass transit services in the 19th century. The 20th century saw an urge for convenient travel among people, with the vehicle of their choice. This resulted in the proliferation of private-owned cars. Now, after 1.4 billion registered cars, 1200 million metric tons of carbon emissions per year, and countless hours spent in the traffic per day, people are in pursuit of more than efficient and convenient means to commute. They are looking for a pragmatic, sustainable, and green transport.
People prefer to spend fewer hours commuting behind the wheels. More people today are opting for trains, trams, buses, ride-share, and bike-rentals than they were a decade back. These alternatives collate efficiency with sustainability. Yet, people find them inconvenient, and they refrain from ditching their private vehicles. Lack of first and last-mile connectivity fragmented intermodal transportation options, and clutter of apps to avail mobility services are hindering their mass adoption. The result – more traffic, more congestion, more pollution – thus obliterating the benefits.
The need of the hour is to empower people with seamless and green transport. They prefer to schedule a ride – renting a bike to the subway, followed by booking a train ticket, and finally hailing a ride-share to reach the destination – hassle-free with a single app running on their phones. Commuters wish to breeze through these disparate modes – a single QR code or an OTP to unlock the bike, open the train door and enable the ride-share. Commuters also like to set up their payment options once and settle the trip fares automatically across multiple transit modes. Mobility as a Service or MaaS aims to build a sustainable ecosystem that provides this very convenience.