The definition of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) is not uniformly agreed in the transport and transit industry. In fact, on the subject of self-service account provision, there is a significant device. Many MaaS aggregation platform vendors and some transport authorities/regulators believe in the utopian vision of a single mobility account for all transport providers. Whereas the individual transport providers usually want to maintain and grown the accounts they have (and the data and marketing permissions they have access to). Justified by the need to build an ongoing relationship between the transport provider and their customers… usually with the expectation that this will help them build insight and grown revenue.
MaaS is us shown in a version of this diagram
Here, the MaaS aggregator sits between the transport providers below and the customer above (perhaps via an array of further MaaS Providers). Thus delivering a single point of access for all: journey planning, booking/buying and customer account functionality.
But there is section missing from this diagram, based on the assumption that the Transport Providers themselves do NOT have their own self-service functionality and therefore do not each have online accounts for their customers to access their services directly.
But they do… and in a fragmented transport ecosystem, each individual transport provider has their own separate account (usually even if they are part of a larger operating group).
This means that the typical MaaS diagram needs to be extended out to show this:
And these existing transport provider accounts are used by customers (albeit to varying extents) for them to look, book and manage their respective mode of mobility.