"Customer experience in MaaS is a key issue that needs to be addressed. On the one hand, you need to improve the mobility experience of citizens who are already using public and/or shared transports, and on the other hand, you need to convince private car owners to switch their habits."
Ahead of SmartMetro Madrid on 25-27th November, 2019, we had a chat with our amazing speaker David Lainé, Corporate MaaS Director at Transdev, to find out a bit more about his job, MaaS, and what makes him tick.
As an industry expert, David will be present at SmartMetro Madrid, where he will share his knowledge of Mobility as a Service and integrated ticketing methods between operators. To find out more about him, his work, and what his favourite train journeys are, read the interview below.
First off, a bit of background: How did you started your current career path, and what does your position as Corporate MaaS Director entails?
My career in mobility began with the launch of Wattmobile in the summer of 2011. Wattmobile is a last-mile mobility solution for professionals that provides France's major railway stations with a fleet of two and four-wheel self-service vehicles that are 100% electric. Upon arrival, professionals can reserve a vehicle through a smartphone app and quickly travel the last kilometers of their business trips, from the station to their meeting point. When Wattmobile launched, we were at the very beginning of the digitalisation of urban mobility. After selling Wattmobile to the Indigo Group in March 2016, I stayed for one more year to work on its incorporation, before joining Transdev in March 2018 to focus on MaaS.
The reason I joined Transdev was because of its lead on MaaS issues. In that regard, my meeting with Thierry Mallet (Transdev’s CEO) was decisive; his vision and ambition on MaaS finally convinced me to join the company. To me, Transdev had already fully understood the stakes of MaaS, and positioned itself as a forerunner by investing as early as 2015 in the Finnish company MaaS Global and its WHIM solution.
Today, I am Transdev’s Corporate MaaS Director. My main task is to define the company’s strategy and positioning on MaaS. As a public transport operator, our positioning is B2G2C (Business to Government to Consumer): we tailor and deploy local MaaS solutions in partnership with and under the governance of the local PTA (Public Transit Authority). This includes the construction of a MaaS group platform to accelerate the deployment of MaaS solutions in our networks, the lay-out of a "MaaS alliance" to strengthen our international MaaS ecosystem, support to our networks in building and deploying their MaaS solution, and finally, coordination of knowledge management across the group.
We are currently working on an improved version of Moovizy, Transdev’s MaaS showcase, which will be deployed in the French city of St-Etienne this autumn. Alongside that, we continue to follow and support the development of MaaS Global and Tranzer, in which we are historical investors.
What current and possible future trends in MaaS interest you the most?
More than trends, I am primarily interested in the substantive issues that a working MaaS solution must address, like governance, data management, and business model. What data do we use to provide the best possible offer to the end user? To optimize a network design? What's the governance for these data? Who can access them? How do we reconcile GDPR and data analysis? What is a viable business model? How do we make MaaS scalable? What contractual agreement do we draw between a MaaS operator and transport providers? How do you operate a MaaS solution?
Answering these questions will help us identify and confirm current and future trends in MaaS. Are we heading towards local MaaS solutions, intended for everyday commuting (everyday mobility accounts for 98% of mobility in France) with integrated public transport travelcards, or rather towards global Maas solutions rolled out by digital giants, with different user needs and positioning?
Is there any burgeoning relevant answers to any of those questions?
On governance, we do see a major trend emerging in Europe right now: that of leaving the organization and the coordination of MaaS solutions to Public Transport Authorities. Customer experience in MaaS is also a key issue that needs to be addressed. On the one hand, you need to improve the mobility experience of citizens who are already using public and/or shared transports, and on the other hand, you need to convince private car owners to switch their habits.
Transdev is currently positioning itself on everyday commuting in specific living areas. The future will tell us if this will be the converging trend, or if we are heading towards national and/or international MaaS solutions.
What's the biggest professional challenge you've ever faced?
The creation and development of Wattmobile, in a business sector monopolized by major financial powers and GAFA. Wattmobile was both a digital startup and a mobility operator with an important infrastructure, which made it challenging. This challenge gave me the confidence to design tomorrow’s MaaS solutions.
Are there any past projects in your life you're proud of? Are there any upcoming ones you're excited about?
For past projects: Wattmobile, again. And, in a past life, the European launch of an American sports brand, that saw the opening of over 30,000 stores across Europe in 5 years.
For upcoming projects: the launch of our MaaS application Moovizy in St Etienne this Autumn, which we hope will serve as a reference for the deployment of new Transdev MaaS solutions worldwide.
What's your favourite rail journey in the world, and why?
Paris-Venice on a night train, especially the early morning arrival at the Santa Lucia station, located right at the Grand Canal. You leave Paris the night before, and you find yourself watching the day rise over Venice the next morning. It feels like a trip back in time.
To meet David and many other wonderful speakers and decision makers, come and join us at SmartMetro Madrid on 25-27th October 2019!