Travellers in the West Midlands could soon benefit from a new integrated transport system allowing them to access multi-modal ‘Mobility as a Service’ (MaaS) via their smartphones.
The service Whim, by the MaaS operator MaaS Global, will be launched in the West Midlands metropolitan area in early 2017. The launch follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by the West Midlands Combined Authority, transport service providers National Express and SilverRail, Birmingham City Council and MaaS Global. Other transport companies will be welcomed onboard the Whim service in the future.
The MaaS concept means looking after people’s daily mobility needs with a single service, which can be used either on a subscription or pay-as-you-go basis. In West, Midlands MaaS can transform how over 5.5 million people get from A to B – including commuters in Britain’s second most populous city, Birmingham. Kaj Pyyhtiä, the Co-Founder and CXO of MaaS Global, sees enormous potential in the region: “This is an incredibly exciting location for us to start our first international operation. “With their open and forward-looking approach, Transport for West Midlands, and local transport service providers from National Express and SilverRail to Enterprise are the true enablers of bringing MaaS to the UK. The ongoing support of Transport Systems Catapult has also been invaluable – we simply couldn’t have found better partners.”