MaaS vouchers and discounts for public transport, some of the ideas to improve urban mobility in Slovenia

On  14 December 2021, EIT Urban Mobility RIS Hub Slovenia organised a hackathon, which focused on the development of more sustainable and innovative solutions to decarbonise Slovenian cities. Six teams of students and young researchers focused mainly on the challenges of the freight and passengers’ transport. 

The winning idea, that received a total award of 1.500 euros, is the app Wom3n. The implementation of this application is intended to help both Slovenian citizens (including children and people with disabilities) and tourists with the way they are using public transport.  Smart bracelets and regular cards will be connected with the app. These gadgets will measure steps in kilometers, transfer these steps into points and finally monetise them as discounts for different Slovenian products, bus and train tickets and funds for better transport equipment for people with special needs.  

Active8 Planet group tried to address the problem of the excessive ownership of cars. The solution would be a three-year preliminary project, which would serve as a basis for the introduction of the already desired MaaS (Mobility as a Service). Vouchers (e.g., 200€) would be distributed to all citizens, who would be able to use them for various forms of sustainable mobility: car-sharing, bike rental, train and bus tickets,…The unused vouchers would flow into the municipal treasury and the citizens would then vote on local mobility projects for which the money would then be intended. 

Both of the ideas will also be presented at the workshop that EIT Urban Mobility RIS Hub Slovenia is organising with the Association of Urban Municipalities of Slovenia in February. EIT Urban Mobility RIS Hub Slovenia will organise another hackathon in Spring 2022. 

Is the future of mobility rail?

The transport sector is responsible for about 25% of the European Union’s greenhouse gas emissions. The European Green Deal, the EU’s plan to be climate neutral by 2050, aims for a 90% reduction in transport emissions during this period by prioritising cleaner and healthier means of transport.  

Contributing only 0.4% of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe, and as the safest mode of land transport, rail is both a safe and sustainable means of transport. Despite this, only about 7% of passengers and 11% of goods in Europe currently travel by rail. Increased use of rail will significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions and pollution coming from EU transport. To promote rail transport – both passenger and freight – the EU has designated 2021 as the European Year of Rail.  

2021 is the first year of implementation of the EU’s Fourth Railway Package, which aims to remove institutional, legal, and technical obstacles to achieve its vision of creating an integrated European railway area. One such obstacle to passenger rail transport is the fragmented local and/or regional Mobility as a Service (MaaS) providers across Europe. 

Led by Achmea, the project UMOS aims to overcome this by building a pan-European open service platform for optimised, customised, and seamless mobility for the traveller. As a mobile and web application it will be a one-stop platform, integrating various mobility services to provide real-time service data.  Digital technology innovation, as seen by the UMOS application, plays a critical part in removing obstacles to rail use and increasing the attractiveness of train transport. 

Do not forget to register for our Future Mobility Open Innovation Day (18 February, 13.30-15.30 CET) to hear from thought leaders and get inspired by corporate and organisational pitches on technology innovations impacting urban mobility.