3. MaaS in Japan
The Japanese government has studied MaaS as well to ride the wave of its increasing popularity, and found that when MaaS is simulated in their future investment strategies, it helps the surrounding communities to achieve a high quality of life and mobilizes society by driving up the potential demand for going out. However, because there are many types of cities in Japan, and each one has several types of transportation options, it has been difficult to directly apply a single concept to every city. They have had to consider and develop a way for MaaS to be suitable for Japan, or one might say that they created a Japanese MaaS. Finally, the Japanese government has found that there are 5 suitable types of MaaS in Japan, as follows:
c. Regional city
d. Rural area
These MaaS types have different goals, but the Japanese government believes that MaaS will be one of the better solutions for an aging society and expanding urbanization.
4. One MaaS Case Study in Tokyo
Tokyo Metro, one of the leading subway operators in the world, has recently launched their MaaS project 4). They called their Metropolis MaaS project “My! Tokyo MaaS." Tokyo Metro has 179 stations, 7.55 million passengers, and a 195.0 km rail network in Tokyo, so they have earned the position to be able to develop a Metropolis type of MaaS. They emphasize 3 concepts in order to add value to their rail network and service, as follows:
a. Personalized trip planning and added value
Passengers can get easier access to information for their destination, like routes to elevators in stations and paths to take to avoid getting wet when it’s raining.
b. Real-time train operation information
Passengers can, of course, get real-time transit operation information and train location information, but can also moreover get suggestions of detours in the case of an accident.
c. A more precise network
Tokyo Metro will work together with other mobility operators to enable passengers to easily access various mobility modes.
I believe that this project will assist not only commuters around urban Tokyo, but also foreign visitors. We are in severe times with COVID-19, but I believe that we can overcome it and enjoy travel again someday, of course with “My! Tokyo MaaS.”