Throughout 2018 there have been workshops and conferences based on the term “Mobility as a Service” and the up and coming MaaS Scotland conference in Edinburgh will draw all practitioners and stakeholders together. Discussion on elements such as disruption, routing, users and case studies from overseas are important so I look forward to writing about what we learn. Meantime I will provide some information on a rural MaaS project you may have heard about called Cairngorm Connected.
Based in the Cairngorm National Park, which has a land area of 4500km2, 5 Councils, 3 Regional Transport Partnerships and just 18,000 residents but 1.2million visitors to Aviemore alone each year, the challenge is not only the complex civic structure but the disconnect in transport for visitors and residents. The rural economy is fragile with car reliance critical whilst also a poverty tool. The vision has an economic development focus but through the sharing and connecting of mobility data, can enable communities and offer choice to people and organisations living, working or visiting in the Cairngorm Park Area.
Rural MAAS in this context presents opportunities to work with and connect communities, businesses and visitors to provide a need-based solution. Despite the barriers to rural development, Cairngorm Connected has over twenty stakeholders, a pilot area and traction to deliver change. Projects such as the EU funded INCLUSION pilot site and also the new PhD on rural MaaS will help inform the debate and grow the plans for Cairngorm Connected.