> Scale: Local
> Country: Finland
> Last updated: 06 October 2021Download PDF
Finland’s government set an ambitious goal to be carbon neutral by 2035 and to be the “world’s first fossil-free welfare society”. In 2020, the transport sector accounted for 20% of Finland’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, most of which originating from the road sector. Finland’s modal split of cars and car ownership rates are among the highest in Europe. Mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) is expected to be an integral part of the strategy to reverse car dependency and to reduce emissions from transport.
Development of MaaS in Finland started in the early 2010. The MaaS model offers a viable alternative to private cars by allowing public and private operators to collaborate on seamless mobility. Using smart technologies, operators can offer a sustainable multi-modal transport system based on public transport as the key pillar, combined with other mobility services such as micro mobility, bike sharing and car sharing.
Finland is a pioneer in the development of MaaS thanks to favourable legislation and government support. The 2018 Finnish Transport Services Act requires all mobility operators (e.g. public transport, taxis, bike sharing platforms) to make key information of their services and ticket sales interfaces accessible from an application programming interface in a standard format. In addition, the Ministry of Transport and the public Finnish innovation fund Tekes supported the creation of MaaS operators. This led to the creation of several MaaS companies, out of which two are among the world-leaders in MaaS (MaaS Global and Kyyti). Finland also supported several pilot projects, both in urban and rural areas.
MaaS Global launched MaaS in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area in November 2017. Its application Whim allows users to plan routes and facilitates payments for mobility services, including public transport, bike sharing, e-scooter sharing, taxi services and car rentals. It offers both pay-as-you-go plans or monthly subscriptions. Within the first year of operation, more than 2 million trips had been made with Whim, mostly with public transport. Six per cent of the population in Helsinki was using the application, mainly the age group of 18-40 years old.
The number of MaaS users in Helsinki Metropolitan Area has been rising since the service was launched. Twelve per cent of users reported that MaaS has prompted them to give up their cars. A similar number indicated they are planning to. Simulations for the Helsinki Metropolitan Area integrating shared on-demand mobility services (e.g. shared taxis or shared taxi buses) into MaaS suggest significant savings in GHG emissions thanks to a shift from car travel to public transport and shared services.
Outcomes and lessons learned
Mobility-as-a-Service system in Helsinki have helped shift traffic from private cars to public transport, shared services and active mobility, with a potential reduction in GHG emission.
Public and private actors need to ensure sufficient levels of investment in transport infrastructure to meet users’ needs within and outside urban areas. Otherwise, MaaS risks limiting benefits to urban centres, while exacerbating low occupancy vehicle travel in other areas and to reach urban areas.