MaaS Alliance has been growing at a breath-taking pace both in terms of the number of its members and its regional coverage. This reflects the huge overall interest in Mobility as a Service and the unique services provided by the MaaS Alliance. One of our most recent members – the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) – is based in California and is a frontrunner and living lab for Mobility as a Service in the US. In particular, CCTA focuses on creating a seamless co-existence and mix of public transit and shared automated vehicles, thus providing an attractive alternative to single-occupancy private cars, which dominate the scene in California at the moment. The direct drawbacks of the overuse of single-occupancy vehicles, especially in terms of congestion and pollution, are already felt on the highways of the Bay Area and CCTA is working to alleviate these issues.
The partnership between Contra Costa Transportation Authority and MaaS Alliance was initiated at the Redefining Mobility Summit, organised by CCTA and GoMentum Station at the beginning of April this year in San Ramon, where representatives of CCTA and MaaS Alliance met and discussed the common interests of both parties.
Mr Randy Iwasaki, Executive Director of CCTA, said about the cooperation: “It is an honor to be part of the MaaS Alliance and our team is looking forward to learning from our Alliance partners how we can help redefine mobility in our region to make it safer, seamless and more accessible for all of our users.”
The membership of CCTA is an important step for the MaaS Alliance. As Mr Jacob Bangsgaard, President of the MaaS Alliance, explained: “We have in the last months been teaming up with partners on the international scene to promote cooperation on MaaS on a global level. Meetings have been held with stakeholders from the US, China and Japan. That the CCTA now joins the MaaS Alliance creates even closer link to the US developments and provides exciting opportunities for exchange of knowhow and for stronger support to the MaaS developments in the two regions.“
The Redefining Mobility Summit coincided with the entry into force of landmark legislation on driverless vehicles in California, which was passed on 5 April and now allows driverless vehicles to be tested on California’s public streets. It is evident that (shared) autonomous vehicles are a hot topic in California, as more than 50 companies have already registered to test autonomous vehicles in California. The EasyMile (another MaaS Alliance member) EZ10 recently became the first driverless shuttle bus to receive approval from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to travel on public roads in California, as part of a pilot project with CCTA.
In addition to this legislation, California is also undergoing a period of infrastructure updates due to changes in customer demands. For example, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) operator is now replacing parking lots partially with drop-in / drop-off areas dedicated to transportation network companies (TNCs), such as Uber and Lyft, and shared vehicles. The MaaS Alliance is delighted to cooperate with and support CCTA in the deployment of highly intelligent and diverse mobility services.