Emergence of Mobility Market Platforms - Case: Mobility as a Service in Finland

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Creative Sustainability
This master’s thesis studies Mobility as a Service (MaaS) – a recent phenomenon in the Finnish public transportation industry that has gained widespread interest both in Finland and globally. At the core of MaaS are new mobility operators that facilitate interaction between transportation service providers and users by bundling existing services into mobility packages that enable so-called door-to-door travel. This bundling is facilitated by digital platforms, which allow users to compare alternative transportation services and purchase travel chains in one go. The empirical purpose of this master’s thesis was to describe and analyze the concept of Mobility as a Service and its development in Finland. Two primary research questions were asked: (1) What kind of mobility systems are currently emerging around the Mobility as a Service ideology inFinland? (2) How do the emerging mobility systems co-create value with their end users? To this end, two MaaS pilots and two startups were studied. The purpose was on one hand to describe these initiatives at a general level, and on the other hand to analyze how they co-create value with their end users. The research was conducted as a qualitative, multiple-case study, and the primary data collection method was semi-structured interviews. The theoretical purpose of this research was to bridge two streams of literature: platform theory and Service Science. Both literatures are relevant to studying Mobility as a Service, as both are involved in exploring services and the role of ICT and data in service innovation. Both literatures were reviewed in an effort to find relevant concepts and theory frameworks that could allow creating conceptual links between the two theories. As a result, a theory framework was created that brings together the technological-managerial perspective of platform theory and the value co-creation perspective of Service Science. The framework was then tested through analyzing the MaaS cases. The main empirical finding of this master’s thesis was that the all four MaaS cases can be classified as market platforms. According to platform theory, market platforms facilitate direct interaction between two or more actors that are affiliated with the platform. The MaaS cases co-create value with their end users by facilitating efficient resource exchange and integration between end users and transportation service providers. They do so by providing information about alternatives as well as maps, ticketing and payment tools and other structures that allow the users to view alternatives, plan journeys, and purchase service bundles. The findings are in line with extant platform and Service Science theories. With that being said, the cases are all at pre-market-penetration stage, and overall, MaaS is still mostly an ideology that awaits testing. Empirically, this master’s thesis increases our understanding of existing MaaS platforms and their development. Theoretically, the main contribution was the development of the platform framework that combines platform theory with Service Science.
Thesis advisor
Temmes, Armi
mobility, mobility as a service, platforms, value co-creation, MaaS, multi-sided platforms, service-dominant logic
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