2018-CGS-31: Mains Revision -19: Ports, Roads, Railways and Civil Aviation Sectors

Mobility as a Service (MaaS)

Mobility as a service (MaaS) or Transport as a service (TaaS) is the integration of various forms of transport services into a single mobility service accessible on demand.

It is a shift away from the personally-owned modes of transportation towards mobility solutions that are consumed as a service by combining transportation services from public and private transportation providers through a unified gateway. This unified gateway manages the trip across different modes of transport wherein users can pay for mobility service with a single account on monthly or a single trip basis.

Potential Benefits

Ability of India to provide shared and connected mobility with MaaS could provide major benefits and it can address various issues haunting the transport sector of India by

  • Addressing the last mile connectivity Issues: Due to unplanned urbanization in India providing of last mile connectivity has become a mammoth task. The integration of various modes of transport into a single mobility service can effectively address the issue of last mile connectivity.
  • Decongestion of Roads: With MaaS there would be shift of focus from moving Vehicles to moving people. This would decongest the roads as MaaS can provide an efficient means of public Transport with better service delivery.
  • Smart Traffic management: MaaS would provide huge amount of Data about the mobility patterns. Big data together with Artificial intelligence can provide for Smart traffic management solutions.
  • Enhanced Efficiency of Transport System: The MaaS would aid in planning of the trip till the last minute by providing of integrated means of public transport. This would provide with an increased efficiency of the transport system and improved quality of the transportation Service.
  • Logistics management: The MaaS will provide numerous avenues for automation of transportation services like toll payments. This will provide for better logistics management and tracking of the vehicular movements.
  • Formalisation of Transport Sector: MaaS will encourage formalisation of transport sector and give a thrust to digital economy. This formalisation will aid in better policy planning and implementation due to the integrative nature the various components will come under the purview of regulatory bodies.
  • Smart Services: At present the roadways, railways, airways and rapid transport systems like metro are competing with each other rather than complimenting each other. MaaS will provide with a mechanism for the integration of different modes of transport system for the better service delivery.
  • Reduced cost to the commuter: MaaS will aid in achieving economy of scale thus providing with dual benefits of reduced operating cost on part of the service provider and reduced cost to the consumer due to the integration resulting in enhanced migration towards MaaS.

India is a Knowledge economy which has established itself as the IT superpower. This expertise of India can be utilized through MaaS to make the transport sector of India more efficient and robust.

MaaS will also aid in bringing the attitudinal change as the enhanced quality of services will result in reduced vehicular movement. People will be more than willing to embrace public modes of transport in place of private Vehicles. This will reduce the emissions due to reduction in vehicular emissions. [GKToday]

Electric Vehicles and Challenges in Mainstreaming Them

Electric Vehicles can provide with numerous advantages in combating climate change and rebuilding of the economy.

Benefits of electric vehicles

Electric vehicles can address various challenges like

  • Reducing Emission Intensity: Under Paris climate deal India has committed to reduce emission intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 level. Electric Vehicles can aid India in accomplishing INDC by reducing emissions.
  • Reduced dependence on its imports: India is highly dependent on imports for fossil fuels. This is burdening the Current account. Switching over to electric vehicles can aid India in avoiding import dependence.
  • Make in India: India can build the industry base with its favorable demographic pattern. This will aid in development of labour intensive industries.
  • Internal combustion engines are complex with a number of moving parts. Electric vehicles are relatively simple, thus providing benefits of low maintenance.

Challenges India is facing in mainstreaming electric vehicles

  • Lack of focus to address the issue of providing the conductive environment for electric vehicles like building of charging points.
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