The case of Mobility as a Service: how the challenges of shared mobility shape its adoption by women

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

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

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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 adoption of MaaS by women may contribute to decarbonisation of personal mobility and yet it suffers from implementation gap. The study draws on Practice Theory (PT), a theory which focused on social practices and Consumer Culture Theory (CCT), which focused on the interaction between consumers’ identities and their behaviour.
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. Geography affects MaaS use as coverage of rural areas is poor, whilst women are more likely to use MaaS when on holiday. 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 publicationProceedings of the 2023 Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference
PublisherRoyal Geographical Society
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023
EventAnnual International Conference 2023 - Imperial College London
Duration: 27 Aug 202330 Aug 2023


ConferenceAnnual International Conference 2023
Internet address


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


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