[MLIT] Measures for the Utilization of MaaS in a Universal Society

On February 17th, 2021, the MLIT held the 3rd "Study Group on Measures for the Utilization of MaaS in a Universal Society" and announced the direction for such measures. MaaS (Mobility as a Service) is an initiative to make various forms of transport services accessible more efficiently, easily and seamlessly through ICT such as smartphones. For example, it facilitates the provision of diverse transport options to a destination, seat booking service and payment channel through a single app. The abovementioned study group was created from a belief that it is desirable to include the needs of persons with disabilities in the construction of MaaS. The study group explained that MaaS will bring (1) information linkage, (2) reservation/ payment linkage, and (3) service linkage to the existing transportation services. The following tasks in each area require additional work:

  1. Information linkage

Coordination and cooperation among service providers are vital in order to build up information linkage as the degree to which different service providers have established MaaS varies. It is necessary for the government to indicate priority areas to enhance cooperation.

  1. Reservation/ payment linkage

Most transportation companies provide disability discounts, and some of them have already started to allow ICT payment for the purchase of these discount tickets. Further coordination among transportation companies and reservation/payment companies should be promoted to provide a uniform quality of service and to link their services.

  1. Service linkage

Further technical development is necessary in areas such as identity linkage, building a system to link information which ensures the protection of privacy, etc.

The contents will be reflected in the “Guidelines for MaaS-related Data Coordination” developed in March 2020. For more information, please visit the following link (Japanese only). https://www.mlit.go.jp/report/press/sogo12_hh_000204.html