The establishment of automobile-centred mobility paradigm over the past decades resulted in significant degradation of social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is a novel concept that aims to create a shift in individuals’ travel behaviour away from private car dependence maximising the potential of alternative modes. Recent research suggests, however, that transport users are not yet ready to abandon their cars while those who intend to use MaaS may fully substitute not only personal car trips but also public transport journeys with car-based shared use mobility services. This means that MaaS penetration, contrary to expectations, may result in unsustainable travel practices among its users and further aggravate transport related sustainability issues. Therefore, this thesis makes its purpose to develop an in-depth understanding of potential travel behavioural implications of MaaS identifying opportunities and challenges in its ability to create sustainable travel behavioural change and produce evidence-based recommendations for policy makers and mobility providers to support sustainable travel behaviour with MaaS.

This study meets its aim by employing a two-stage consequential mixed-methods approach. The first stage is qualitative and targets 40 transport users residing in three different locations around the UK, namely London, Birmingham, and Huddersfield. The data is collected via semi-structured individual interviews and examined using Thematic Analysis. The second research stage comprises of an online quantitative survey, developed using the findings of the literature review and the Thematic Analysis results. A total of 427 useable responses from UK general public were collected and worked through using a combination of Univariate Analysis and Principal Component Analysis followed by Ordinal Regression Modelling.

Thematic Analysis has resulted in identification of five important themes affecting and reflecting user intention to commit to sustainable travel with MaaS – Car Dependence; Trust; Human Element Externalities; Value; and Cost, – each of them with distinctive dimensions, expressed as their sub-themes. Forty attitudinal Likert-Scale statements, pertaining to the Thematic Analysis results, were developed and tested at the surveying stage. After undergoing Principal Component Analysis, the attitudinal statements formed eight MaaS attitudinal factors, with the five core themes developed through Thematic Analysis retained and some of their sub-themes becoming independent. The relationships and dynamics between the eight factors, complemented by socio-demographic and past behaviour items, and MaaS induced travel behavioural intentions were explored using Ordinal Regression.

Univariate Analysis confirmed that just about 19% of transport users in the United Kingdom would consider not owning a car when equipped with MaaS, while circa 60% agreed they would replace some of their public transport trips with car-based shared use mobility options. Ordinal Regression Modelling demonstrated the ability of the eight factors, combined with past behaviour and, in some cases, socio-demographic variables, to explain circa 40% of variance in these behavioural intentions, with Value, Human Element Externalities, Trust, Cost, and Car Ownership dimension of Car Dependence being the most commonly appearing significant predictors. These findings are used to produce evidence-based policy recommendations, targeting MaaS related individual attitudes and past travel practices, that will help making MaaS an effective tool for enabling sustainable travel behaviour among transport users.

Alyvavina THESIS.pdf - Accepted Version
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