In cities around the world, innovative and emerging shared modes are offering residents, businesses, travelers, and other users more options to access mobility, goods, and services. As these shared modes build a network of services in many cities, consumers are increasingly engaging in more complex multimodal decision-making processes. Rather than making decisions between modes, travelers are “modal chaining” to optimize route, travel time, and cost. Additionally, digital information and fare integration are contributing to new on-demand access models for mobility and goods delivery.
On both sides of the Atlantic, two complementary approaches to multimodal access to public and private transportation services are evolving in parallel. In North America, consumers are assigning economic values to transportation services and making mobility decisions (including the decision not to travel and instead have a good or service delivered) based on cost, journey time, number 0f connections, convenience, and other attributes—a concept commonly referred to as mobility on demand (MOD). In Europe, services that allow travelers to sign up for mobility services in one bundled service are gaining popularity—a concept known as mobility as a service (MaaS). Practitioners are often faced with the questions: “What is MOD?” “What is MaaS?” and “How are MOD and MaaS similar and different?” This article aims to clarify these two concepts, explain their similarities and differences, and highlight a few public sector integrated mobility initiatives.