Shifting from ownership to access and the future for MaaS – learning from shared mobility users
Transport levels continue to increase worldwide representing complex challenges to climate change prevention and the liveability of cities. Private car use in particular represents a critical problem due to its negative impacts on global climate, local air quality and congestion. In recent years, interest has arisen in the concept of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) as one possible path towards sustainable mobility futures. MaaS builds on the idea of a shift from private car ownership to a seamlessly integrated system providing access to multimodal mobility options including public transport and shared mobility services like car and bike sharing. Currently, only few examples of MaaS exist (e.g. Whim in Finland) and knowledge of user experiences is limited.
The aim of this paper is to contribute to a better understanding of how shared mobilities fit with the everyday life and social practices of citizens. Methodologically, the paper will draw on insights from qualitative interviews with families using shared mobility schemes in Copenhagen. The interviews will be informed by a practice theoretical approach focusing on how mobility practices are shaped through elements of materials, competences, and meaning (Shove and Pantzar, 2005) in order to study the ability of MaaS to fit people’s social practices. To inform the discussion of our empirical results, we include a literature review of existing studies of user experiences with Maas and a review and analysis of user practice representations in existing MaaS trials; i.e. how the use of MaaS is envisaged.