Transport stakeholders’ perceptions of Mobility-as-a-Service: A Q-study of cultural shift proponents, policy advocates and technology supporters

Alexandros Nikitas, Corneliu Cotet, Alexandra Elena Vitel, Nikolaos Nikitas, Carlo Prato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Digitalisation along with the emerging realisation that car-centric design and ‘predict and provide’ policies failed in environmental and socio-economic terms, have encouraged the transport industry to revisit sustainable traffic management. Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) is a transport intervention, still in its infancy, promising, in theory at least, significant benefits for societies by disengaging travel from automobility via a ‘one-stop digital shop’ offering integrated multimodal transport services. However, these benefits, ranging from improved and more affordable access to transport to less motorised traffic and pollution, largely depend on how stakeholders will choose to adopt, deliver and manage this intervention.

Identifying and understanding the distinct perceptions of a diverse spectrum of stakeholders around MaaS may therefore help in efforts to create a formula that will allow building schemes that are attractive to users and effective operationally. This study uses for the first time for the context of MaaS the powerful semi-quantitative Q-method with a sample of 50 expert participants from 17 countries to collect, contextualise and prioritise their key insights. These stakeholders are governmental representants, transport consultants, leading academics and researchers working directly or indirectly on MaaS and sustainable/shared mobility programmes. 

Our analysis led to the identification of three factors (i.e., clusters of respondents with similar views), each with their specific priorities and preferences, namely: the Cultural Shift Proponents, the Policy Advocates, and the Technology Supporters. The Cultural Shift Proponents see the introduction of MaaS as part of a cultural shift away from automobility, Policy Advocates recognise the predominant role of rules and regulations in pushing forward this paradigm, and the Technology Supporters see technology integration as a facilitator to its success. This study highlights the limited governmental involvement in MaaS planning and delivery, the absence of a clear plan when it comes to mobility providers, the need to provide well-branded, sustainable and inclusive schemes for commuters, tourists and vulnerable users including awareness-raising activities, and the importance of keeping user costs modest and usage data safe.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103964
Number of pages18
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Early online date9 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024

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