How can Shared Mobility as a Service offerings improve gender inclusivity to improve diffusion?

Dr. Maurizio Catulli, Robyn Thomas, Russell Fenner, Scott Copsey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper explores issues of inclusiveness and safety that women encounter when using Mobility as a Service (MaaS), a transport offering which enables users to book, manage and pay diverse modes of transport through smartphone apps. Personal mobility modes may include public transport, car, bicycle sharing, automated vehicles and more. The diffusion of MaaS is desirable because it may contribute to the decarbonisation of personal mobility and yet it is finding resistance.
The study draws on the cultural perspectives of Practice Theory (PT), a theory which focused on social practices as the main unit of analysis and Consumer Culture Theory (CCT), a multidisciplinary approach which studies the dynamic relationships between consumer actions, the marketplace, experiential aspects of consumption and cultural meanings.
Despite benefits, participants associate using MaaS with meanings of unsafety and apps with intrusiveness. Women seem disadvantaged compared to men when using MaaS.
Suggested solutions include rigorous vetting of service personnel and whenever possible, recruit female personnel such as drivers. On board cameras, recording devices and safety features of apps may help women feel safe. MaaS providers could encourage the formation of communities around MaaS brands, with women members to reassure women. Significant changes are needed to the socio-technical landscape, including to social practices and infrastructure and this requires changes in policy, investment and governance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceeding of the 2023 Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference
PublisherRoyal Geographical Society
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Sep 2023


  • Carbon Neutral Transport
  • Diffusion
  • Inclusivity
  • Mobility as a Service
  • Safety
  • Women


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