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Transport and the tech giants - Mobility as a Service and the missing link

Big tech, the four major technology companies of Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook, are undeniably a part of our everyday lives, helping us communicate, learn, shop and experience. They’ve also long played a role in how we navigate the world around us, including in transport. But as we move towards Mobility as a Service (MaaS) models - allowing passengers to travel seamlessly across multiple transport modes - big tech, transport and importantly, ticketing must work closer together.

This week, ITSO Ltd’s Executive Chairman, Steve Wakeland, is a keynote speaker for the OSPT Alliance Workshop in Chicago. The Open Standard for Public Transport (OSPT) Alliance is a global community formed to enable mobility services across transport, ticketing, access control and micro-payment.

For the last six years, ITSO Ltd and OSPT Alliance have participated as members in each other’s organisations to explore together how to promote the use of open standards in public transport and smart ticketing.

In the UK, ITSO Ltd is the Guardian of the Crown copyright specification for interoperable smart ticketing on public transport. We believe that open standards are essential to create a seamless travel experience for the passenger and that collaboration across the industry will drive change and remove friction.

Standards bodies have a role to play in bringing together big tech and transport, as greater data sharing and tapping into the availability of open transport data will drive how quickly MaaS is adopted. Rather than having to locate, book, and pay for each mode of transportation separately, MaaS schemes are designed to let passengers plan and book door-to-door trips using a single app or platform. It’s all about travelling the world, with just your mobile phone.

Last year we launched our smart ticketing technology ITSO on Mobile with Google Pay, enabling passengers, initially on West Midlands Metro, to plan their journey and then pay for and download an ITSO-compatible ticket on their mobile phone. At ITSO we believe that ticket fulfilment is still very much the missing link in MaaS, and that’s why we are committed to working with big tech companies to explore how their journey planning and payment solutions can integrate with ticket purchase, saving time and creating a more seamless experience for transport passengers.