What Role for Public Authorities in the Development of Mobility-as-a-Service? The Helsinki Case

What Role for Public Authorities in the Development of Mobility-as-a-Service? The Helsinki Case


Maxime Audouin, EPFL, Matthias Finger, EPFL


This paper analyses the role that public authorities are playing in the development of Mobility-as-a-Service in Helsinki. The objective of this paper is to document the Helsinki experiment and to make recommendations for further research in the area


More than having demonstrated their ability to enhance the development of new mobility modes, the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have in recent years showed their potential to enable the birth of innovative integrated transportation schemes, combining public transportation with ICT-supported hybrid mobility modes. By providing levels of service that aim to become competitive with that provided by private cars, the most advanced of these schemes, also known as Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS), stands out as solution to break-up with car dependency and potentially pave the way for more sustainable cities.

With relatively low costs compared to traditional urban transportation projects, public authorities have nowadays the opportunity to harness the economic, social and environmental potential of MaaS, if done properly, and consequently re-establish trust with their citizens, leverage political credit and benefit the private sector.

But what role exactly public authorities are and should be playing in the development of MaaS? This is the question this paper tries to address, by presenting the case of the development of MaaS in Helsinki. The case is based on archival data and data gathered from semi-structured interviews conducted with key stakeholders involved in the project. The case is then analysed using a theoretical framework building on governance and innovation management literatures. It appears that while public authorities at the national level play an important role in the emergence and initiation phase, the implementation phase, that is to say the wider uptake of MaaS, basically depends on the willingness of public authorities at the local level to govern through enabling rather than provision. Ultimately we hope this paper sheds more light on the role played by public authorities in the development of MaaS schemes and paves the way for further research related to MaaS.


Association for European Transport