Mobility-as-a-Service: Attracting participation of service providers to a MaaS platform

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Degree programme
86 + 2
Platform business model has disrupted and transformed industries around the world. It allows organizations to revolutionize their value chains and tap into a diverse pool of external players, resulting in accelerated innovation and value creation. Platform business has extended beyond technology-driven industries to more traditional and less digital ones. This study examines how platform could reshape the traditional transportation industry, using the case study of Mobiliy-as- a-Service (MaaS) – an innovative mobility ecosystem that integrates various transport modes and offers them as a mobility service package via one interface. The ability to attract participants is vital to a platform’s success. This overarching purpose of this study is to understand what motivates different stakeholders, such as public and private transport service providers, to join a MaaS platform and how a MaaS operator (the platform owner) could attract them to its ecosystem to improve urban transport. The empirical research was conducted as an intensive embedded single case study, focusing on the MaaS ecosystem in the Helsinki capital region (MaaS Global Oy/Whim app). Research data was collected through ten semi-structured interviews with the founder of MaaS Global and representatives of public and private transport service providers. Data analysis followed standard steps of qualitative content analysis, including transcription, within-interview analysis, cross- interview analysis, and synthesis. Moreover, the research findings were reviewed against existing literature to improve quality and validity of the findings. The research concludes that the motivations of platform participants are mostly extrinsic and include both monetary and non-monetary types of motivation. The motivations can be categorized under four main themes: financial gains, reputation and credibility, learning benefits, and social contribution. Additionally, the findings also demonstrate that a platform owner can leverage four facilitating drivers to influence platform participation: expected rewards, a sense of autonomy, a sense of competence and a sense of relatedness. In practical terms, a strong business case with clear financial gains is vital to attract platform participants. Furthermore, the platform should be perceived as transparent and fair, which includes clear pricing and earning logic, and clear decision rights, procedures and data exchange. Finally, supporting resources regarding technical integration, such as testing and toolkits, are also considered as important in facilitating platform participation.
Thesis advisor
Eloranta, Ville
Mobility-as-a-Service, platform, motivation, ecosystem, innovation
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