[Last week MaaS Alliance senior manager Piia Karjalainen gave an interview to SmartRail World, ahead of the SmartRail Rail Technology Congress, where Piia will be speaking on 18th April.]

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is the integration of different forms of transport into a single mobility service accessible on demand, and is seen by many as the future of transport. If fully realised it will be possible to travel from A to B – even cross-border – using one digital ticket that exists on multiple devices. One organisation looking to unlock that system and make it accessible to all is MaaS Alliance, a public-private partnership that includes easymile, the Finnish Transport Agency and Ertico.

Now, for this week’s 5 Minutes With, SmartRail World features an individual helping lead the charge for better mobility, the senior manager at Ertico for Clean & Urban Mobility, and also a senior manager at MaaS Alliance, Piia Karjalainen. Piia has had a varied career in the transport industry and explains to Dave Songer that it’s never been so exciting to work in, now that technology plays such a vital role. She gave her time to talk more about why previous parliamentary and governmental roles have helped her at MaaS Alliance, where her favourite rail journey is in the world and what she’s looking forward to most at this year’s SmartRail.

Dave Songer (DS): You’ve been working as senior manager at MaaS Alliance (@MaaS_Alliance) for nine months now. What do you most enjoy about being involved in the transport industry?

Piia Karjalainen (PK): I have been working for the transport industry for some time already (my entire career, to be precise) and now – thanks to digitalisation – suddenly the industry has become a really interesting and dynamic industry and I’m extremely happy to be part of this new wave. I’m a true believer in Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and feel privileged to be able to work with the whole MaaS Alliance community in order to improve the customer experience, as well as efficiency and sustainability of our everyday mobility.

(DS): What does your role at MaaS Alliance entail?

(PK): MaaS Alliance is still quite a small association, so I’m responsible for supporting our members and board in all daily management activities – from membership management to events and from policy recommendations to communication. In order to do so, I, of course, follow the development of the mobility sector as widely as possible.

(DS): What is the organisation’s focus for 2018 – can you provide some details?

(PK): The European Commission announced the year 2018 to be the Year of Multimodality which gives us strong support for further development of MaaS services, being multimodal by nature. As one of our priorities for 2018, MaaS companies and representatives of regulatory bodies established a working group under the MaaS Alliance to draft the ‘Bill of rights’ for MaaS users. This group is working together to set up a framework for the service promise and customer expectations in order to ensure an entirely smooth and secure travel experience for users in the multimodal travel chain. The Bill of Rights is expected to be presented and launched at the ITS World Congress in Copenhagen, in September 2018. In addition to that, our working groups are constantly supporting our members to find the most suitable business and governance models and also developing principles of data sharing. This year we’re also aiming to extend our network and partnerships beyond the European market area.


Read the full interview on the SmartRail website here.