Economic and environmental concerns alike are growing, In both cases, one of the best green solutions that can help reduce transport emissions throughout Ireland could be MaaS, or mobility-as-a-service.
Alan Murphy is the Smart Dublin Regional Manager. He compared MaaS to equivalents in the IT sector, namely hardware and software. He says that in the world of transportation, trains, taxis, and buses are like hardware components. Likewise, MaaS is a software layer capable of digitally integrating all these different mobility services.
Smart Dublin brings people together, be they academics, citizens, or technology providers. The goal is the transformation of public services so that quality of life is enhanced.
The quartet of Dublin Local Authorities founded this group hoping to future-proof the whole region through scaled innovative solutions that answer numerous challenges faced by locals.
Whether it’s dealing with the climate crisis or just bridging the growing digital divide, there is a strong belief that Dublin can become more resilient and better than ever through innovative collaboration.
Inrix 2020 did a Global Traffic Scorecard and suggested that before the pandemic, the average resident of Dublin was losing 246 hours every year just sitting in traffic.
Micro-mobility transportation inside Ireland
Murphy says that if you consider MaaS as a software layer, then someone looking to get from point A to point B can be presented with correct information at the very moment they need it to plan their trip.
Eamon Ryan is Minister for Transport. Back in February, he approved new legislation to be drafted regarding personal-powered transportation such as e-bikes and e-scooters.
Approving draft legislation along with related guidelines should mean that Irish users of e-scooters won’t be required to show their driver’s license, insurance, or tax proof.
Decisions like this mean that cheaper and greener modes of transportation are more widely available, which reduces both traffic and their emissions.
Since Ireland is working to upgrade its transportation services while providing a broader variety of mobility choices, e-scooter businesses are seizing the opportunity for expansion.
Bird is a recent company to show interest in the newer green options for Ireland. It intends to launch a scooter fleet once the legislation gets passed
On the other hand, the Dublin Councils are going to award licenses to specific operators based on a formal process of evaluation.
Bird will face competition. Dott and Tier also intend to launch Irish fleets. A pair of Irish businesses are also planning to jump in, namely Zeus and Zipp Mobility.
E-scooters being launched in the future do carry some concerns.
According to the Department of Justice, over the last year, there were more than 30 collisions involving e-scooters.
Given how much more interest there is by regulated companies hoping to launch fleets of e-scooters across the country, citizens have also raised concerns about unused e-scooters cluttering areas at charging stations.
The primary reason for public transport is the same thinking behind shared mobility schemes, and that’s getting people away from using private passenger vehicles.
Irish taxi services don’t usually use electric vehicles, but they still help lower emissions because they encourage carpooling and private car ownership.
Free Now is a popular ride-hail service, and it intends to get even greener through investing 6 million euros that hopefully encourage drivers to wind up going electric.
The business says it is going to match grant funding it gets from Ireland’s Sustainable Energy Authority so it can help drivers buy charging equipment for their homes.
Taxi drivers can also benefit, given how rideshare apps will cover 100 percent of their accident insurance in addition to paying them for the work that they do.
What Lies Ahead
Smart Dublin intends to publish a MaaS report covering Ireland in June. It should cover why MaaS is a good idea for the country, propose a specific model, and outline crucial steps towards implementation.
The model is likely to be publicly led, as leaders think this is appropriate in terms of transforming how society gets around.