Written by Eric Bruun Ph.D. Senior Researcher, Kyyti Group
New mobility services can benefit corporations in many ways. With the company’s plant not reachable with public transport, shuttle service is a real added value for the company’s employees. Shared mobility services make office-to-office or office-to-client mobility more efficient and environmentally friendly during the workday.
In this article, we want to share what we have learned about utilizing MaaS in companies. First, we highlight the things that are good to notice in the companies who already have a mobility service going on, and then we highlight the things that are worth noting in companies starting a mobility service.
For companies already trying private auto trip reduction, it’s vital to analyze trends and current effort effectiveness.
Corporations developing transport options for their employees is nothing new. Carpools, vanpools, and participation in discount programs like “TransitChek” in the USA have been a staple at larger employers. The USA has probably seen more of this than in Europe as the transit options tend to be fewer. With more variation in work hours and less shift work, alternatives to the private auto have probably diminished in attractiveness.
Are further increases in employees expected?
Employee counts should be forecast. Many companies have seen steady growth in employees at the same campus, putting pressure on existing solutions. This must be anticipated in some cities, where a single auto trip reduction plan will be required in order to get a building permit. Are further increases in employees expected?
Is there pressure on land that might be better used than for parking?
Inventory should be taken on the space consumed and estimates developed of the building and land value committed to autos. Land values have increased dramatically in many cities, again putting pressure on companies to make more efficient use of their existing footprint. Auto storage is a prime target for conversion to better use or to be sold off as a low productivity asset.
How do employees feel about their existing options?
Conduct a survey on employee travel habits and satisfaction. Some information is available without asking such as participation in discount programs like TransitChek and occupancy ratios of parking spots. But other information can only be obtained by asking. If a significant number indicates they might be open to switching from autos, the chances of success in reduction are higher. They may also provide helpful information about why they can’t switch such as the need to stop at a daycare center. Many of the younger generations who might be good employment candidates won’t consider working at places for reasons beyond the job itself.
Companies that are new to offering MaaS
Again, survey employees cannot be overemphasized. It’s important to know how employees feel about their existing options. See the paragraph above.
How equitable are the current options?
Question a sampling of employees to figure out how much your employees are investing in time and money for commuting. If there proves to be a large disparity between employees who work similar jobs on similar time schedules, there is a problem with horizontal equity. It is probably a source of resentment and an obstacle to recruiting new employees. Employee wallets of travel benefits rather than some people getting something for free while others get nothing could be part of the solution. MaaS apps make this easy for employees to access and to choose from several options.
How much space is currently devoted to autos?
Take inventory of space and finances devoted to employee commuting.If your company has never participated in trip reduction efforts before, this will be a larger task than for companies that have. Include parking houses and parking lots, space devoted to vans, motorpools, and so on. Try to place a sales value on this property.
How much operating budget is devoted to work travel?
Take inventory of company resources devoted to employee work travel. Some businesses have motorpools or significant expense reimbursements for persons using their own cars for their work responsibilities. Reduction of the need for full reimbursement of private car use and/or ownership of a motor pool by replacement with travel-on-demand alone could be a justification for B2B MaaS.
Are there other reasons to consider MaaS?
Many companies are in industrial parks or locations that have historically been without transit because of lack of demand. If several companies in the same location were to commit to MaaS at the same time, a jump in transit demand could be expected. Even more so, if companies also agree to support late-night trips and other very low demand periods. Furthermore, some locations might not merit fixed routes for much of the day. Demand Responsive Transit (DRT) could be quite attractive if it was connected to the fixed route network through timed transfers and single fare payments, all facilitated by MaaS.
Are there similarly situated companies that can be role models?
Review the case studies available and encourage experts to share. Invite speakers who have done research in this area. Companies need not be in the same industry. More important are their surrounding land use, adjacency to fixed route transit, and departure/arrival times of employees. Some may already have usable lessons.
Are there adjacent companies that might combine efforts?
The more people who form a demand pool, the more private mobility providers will pay attention. And public transit agencies often have rules about trips per hour to justify a particular level of service. The bigger the upfront commitment there is, the easier it will be for all of the candidate companies to make a decision. The likelihood of success is higher and the development cost for each is lower.
Do any public agencies have something to build upon?
Inventory the ITS technologies already in place.The single most important thing a public transit agency must have is timetables in a format that can be used in smartphone trip planners. General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) is widely used. If an agency has not yet done it, it can be done by third parties. Also needed is a trip planner. If the agency has not yet developed one, consider Open Trip Planner 2.0. The advantages include open access to software code and enabling of DRT services to be included using the latest GTFS-Flex standard. This is important for B2B MaaS where reverse commuting is needed without the benefit of adequate fixed route services.
Issue B2B MaaS RFP that has latitude if local agency unable/unwilling to help
The MaaS arena is a fast-moving show. Design your Request For Proposal such that ideas that your own company has not even considered come forth. Mention ideas that seem to be applicable to ensure that clever potential proposers also have a look. Encourage ideas to be transferred from elsewhere.
Consider how soon there will be a public solution
If this effort is only a year or two in front of what public agencies are planning, your company could be a logical place for a pilot. The advantages would be some financial support and influence on the eventual regional solution.
Issue RFP to build B2B MaaS version if the local agency is already working on open access MaaS.
Simple: Local agency version but with employees as a separate class?
MaaS applications have the possibility to define “user classes” including employees of a particular firm. It might cost a little to implement a variant. It would outwardly look identical but an employee would see travel offers only open to his/her particular situation, fares that reflect whatever deal the employer has negotiated, and deduction from their own particular wallet.
Medium: Branded version based on existing regional version?
It would also be possible to have a version that has a different logo, options only visible to particular subcategories of employees, such as company-owned cars, shuttles, and so on. The cost would be slightly higher.
Involved: Standalone system that has some advantages meriting the effort?
It is quite possible that a company has major employment centers in several metropolitan regions. Then it might be advantageous to have a version that looks and feels the same everywhere. This is part of the secret for the popularity of Uber and Lyft.
We hope you found this article helpful. Read more about Kyyti Corporate MaaS and if you have any further questions regarding Corporate MaaS, please contact Kyyti Group MaaS experts.