Buzzy projects like “mobility-as-a-service” (MaaS) are gaining traction in a few cities. Pittsburgh, which has long been a hub for autonomous vehicle testing thanks to Carnegie Mellon University, has recently embarked on an experiment to integrate multiple transportation services, like public transportation, car share, electric scooters, and ride-hailing, into a single smartphone app in the hopes of making it easier for users to get around without a car.
“We’re making it super intuitive to open up a single app, with everything in one place,” Karina Ricks, director of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, told CityLab in July.
It’s still early days for MaaS. It won’t be clear whether it’s working in Pittsburgh for at least a decade, as city officials have said their goal is to halve tailpipe emissions and vehicle miles traveled by 2030. The key to their success? Frequent, reliable public transportation.