Mobility as a Service: Exploring Feasibility and Travellers Preferences in an Emerging Economy

Project: HDR ProjectPhD

Project Details

Description

The recent developments on the up-gradation of urban cities are much focusing on an innovative integrated transport system, which could offer an optimal combination of transportation modes (transport resources), in such a way that travellers are provided seamless mobility connecting the travellers with both public and private transport providers through a digital interference (Smartphone app). Such an innovative idea, which coherently considers social and economic benefits and closely foresees the environmental impacts of transportation, has emerged as 'Mobility-as-a-Service or MaaS, in recent literature. Such a transport business model is important to the concept of all-inclusiveness and is under trial phases across the developed parts of the world. But limited or no study to foresee the travelers' preferences for implementing this model is made for the developing world. Considering an emerging economy, Pakistan, this research explores the feasibility aspects and preferences of travellers in successfully implementing the new transport model, the MaaS. To achieve this objective, in particular, this research attempts to answer three primary questions: a) Who are the early MaaS adopters and to which population segments MaaS product is most attractive? b) What are the travelers' most preferred attributes of MaaS products (MaaS bundles)? How will changes in different levels of MaaS products' attributes raise willingness to pay or increase the demand for MaaS? Previous research studies on MaaS implementation highlighting economic factors such as convenience, temporal efficiency, and prices have missed the spatial and non-economic aspects that differ across regions, cultures, and beliefs. There is a dearth of research in this domain exploring consumers’ preferences based on cultural variables, such as religion and social values, and non-market attributes, such as environmental performance of transport modes. These attributes are informed by social and environmental psychology theories such as consumer culture theory and norms activation models. Taking insights from several existing theories, this study undertakes culture, religion, and beliefs along with customarily specified theoretical underpinnings, e.g., demographic, social, economic, and geographic aspects of transport-demand models. Thus, the novelty of the study lies in representing a new framework to understand how value co-creation in the transport business, envisaged under the emerging mobility concept of MaaS, affects the choices of environmentally conscious travellers for different mobility modes and attributes related to MaaS and what are spatial differences ranging from culture, and religious to societal norms and beliefs that matter in evaluating such set of choices to implement MaaS successfully in the developing countries. The study outcomes would provide new directions in encouraging transport consumers for sustainable choices related to transport and the environment. The study's implications are important for policymakers, transport planners, governing bodies, and the transport business community.
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