Below, the second of a series of articles by Rossella De Maria aimed at analyzing, discussing, explaining and shedding light on Mobility-as-a-Service, outlining trends, key studies, scenarios.

Ralph Gambetta has been recently elected Chairman of the Smart Ticketing Alliance (STA), after having been a member of the board for 5 years. 

Dr. Gambetta has a management and political background and is heavily involved in the mobility sector. He has been active in various transport companies such as German Railways, the International Railway Union (UIC) and RATP (Paris metro and bus operator). For more than ten years he has been working at Calypso Networks Association (CNA) on the deployment of smart ticketing schemes. Five years ago, he was also given the role of acting Secretary General at CNA. Furthermore, he is chairman of the UITP IT&I Committee.

When looking closer into the MaaS eco-system, we can see that there are many stakeholders with diverging interests. The necessary precondition to create a “trusted environment” is basically to keep all the stakeholders as partners in packages offering mobility. When it comes to the business aspects of MaaS, the level of trust determines the successful market entry.

Ralph Gambetta, Chairman of the Smart Ticketing Alliance

Ralph Gambetta new Chairman of the Smart Ticketing Alliance

As a newly elected Chairman, how does the growing interest towards Maas fit into the Smart Ticketing Alliance program?

«For decades electronic ticketing was merely related to the aspect of a pure fare collection instrument. But with the upcoming phase of digitalization and the growing processing capacity of powerful back office central servers, it is possible to allow for more innovative technology set ups. Today what we call smart ticketing is considered a key enabler of MaaS. This concept targets the integration of several new mobility services including car and bike sharing, parking, taxis, ride hailing, e-Scooters, traditional public transport and others.

Today, customers can choose several mobility options when they travel to their destinations. This choice of alternatives, according to their own preferences based on available multimodal travel information, has put ticketing back at the center of attention. All the business partners involved need a trusted ticketing scheme in order to be assured to get revenue out of the services provided.

For this, the STA stands for the adoption of standard-based and open contactless ticketing technologies in order to allow for a faster adoption of the MaaS schemes and make it easier to access to possibly sustainable mobility services».

From our neutral position, we advocate for trust in the ticketing eco-system and we see that the business partners involved need at first to start developing this agreed trusted framework approach allowing for a successful and non-discriminatory operation of their services

Ralph Gambetta, Chairman of the Smart Ticketing Alliance

“Trusting ticketing in MaaS” was the topic that STA discussed at the IT-TRANS trade fair in Karlsruhe in May 2022. Could you please tell us more about that?

«This topic is essential when it comes to supporting the successful deployment of MaaS. When looking closer into the MaaS eco-system, we can see that there are many stakeholders with diverging interests. The necessary precondition to create a “trusted environment” is basically to keep all the stakeholders as partners in packages offering mobility. When it comes to the business aspects of MaaS, the level of trust determines the successful market entry.

Here the STA comes into the picture as a trusted enabler of MaaS: we provide relevant certification to certify the trust at a technical level and in addition we provide a glossary for the correct usage of terms and concepts. Without this common baseline, trusting ticketing will be difficult. Teaming up with UITP, one of our founding members, in a joint working group, has given us a better understanding of what the role of ticketing in the MaaS eco system is and has led to further insights.

During our last workshop at IT-TRANS we presented the main findings of this process. The key target of the work was delivering an integrated view on high-level implementation of smart ticketing in MaaS.  First, we put the focus on a harmonized, flexible and scalable ticketing environment, allowing seamless traveling within local geographical areas and also beyond local, regional and country borders. Besides, the challenges of data exchange and access to information are considered a key factor to implement a trusted MaaS ecosystem in a collaborative way. Further recommendations have included the correct timing for technical interoperability, the alignment of business models of the partners involved and the creation an ecosystem for data sharing accepted by all parties involved. Of course, there are more recommendations and practical suggestions on how to deal with trust in ticketing in the MaaS eco system. The report of this joint STA-UITP working group is available to anybody and provides a detailed insight on this important topic».

According to STA, what is the major obstacle for an efficient and smooth implementation of MaaS?

«In reality, we could say that there is no major obstacle for a successful and smooth deployment of MaaS, but there are some challenges on the way. From our neutral position, we advocate for trust in the ticketing eco-system and we see that the business partners involved need at first to start developing this agreed trusted framework approach allowing for a successful and non-discriminatory operation of their services.

From our side we can give advice on how to solve the ticketing related part of trust, but we cannot help them to overcome diverging business interests. The question about data exchange has shown that there is still a great need of trust also in other parts of the MaaS ecosystem. Allowing for an open access to MaaS platforms, agreeing on common business and settlement rules and avoiding unnecessary competition, along with low emission mobility service providers, will surely contribute to a faster adoption of these concepts».    

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