Transport secretary Michael Matheson said that the launch of the fund to unlock innovation in the area follows a period of consultation to develop the scope and criteria. Funding for the initiative is available over the next 3 years for projects to develop the potential for delivery of ‘Mobility as a Service’ (MaaS) in Scotland. Applications for the first-year contracts can be submitted until 30th August.
“The concept behind MaaS is to join up multiple different modes of transport and allow users to create their own unique journey from A to B and pay for it with a simple tap on their smart device,” said Matheson.
He said that it is very pleasing to be able to open the MaaS fund up for applications from the sector, so that work can begin in earnest to support the testing of the concept in Scotland. “MaaS fundamentally is about providing people with easy, digital access to comprehensive travel information and purchasing options, so they can be better informed as to the different ways to undertake their journey and have options on how to pay for it,” he said. “We want to help Scotland to become an international leader in this area. The concept has the potential to transform the way we use transport by making public and shared transport options as desirable as owning our own car. It’s about increasing simplicity and reducing barriers for those choosing to travel and encouraging them to choose sustainable options.
Stephen Taylor, CEO of Technology Scotland, which operates MaaS Scotland said: “The projects made possible by the Scottish Government’s MaaS Investment fund will provide much needed evidence for the impact of Mobility as a Service on the way we travel. In doing so they will also place Scotland at the leading edge of global developments in an area that is fast moving from concept to delivery. Through the MaaS Scotland network we are fortunate to have a cluster of public and private sector organisations with internationally recognised skills and expertise, and we are confident that this fund will deliver exciting outcomes that could have a significant impact on the way we engage with transport in the future.
“We look forward to seeing these projects develop as we build the case for MaaS upscale as part of a future transport strategy which could transform the way we travel in our cities and rural areas.”