Kaohsiung, Japanese railway company sign ‘mobility as a service’ MOU

Kaohsiung City government and Tokyo-based Odakyu Electric Railway Co. signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Tuesday that aims to provide more user-centric transportation and travel services for both sides.

Kaohsiung City and Odakyu, which operates train services in eastern Japan, are tapping into the development of "mobility as a service (MaaS)," Kaohsiung officials said.

MaaS refers to the integration of various forms of transport services into a single mobility service accessible on demand.

It is hoped that after signing the MOU, the city government and Japanese company can learn from each other and offer a combined service to their respective customers, officials said.

Chang Shu-chuan (???), head of the city's Transportation Bureau, said the MOU will boost bilateral exchanges in the field, showcase Kaohsiung's smart transport to the world and prepare both sides for better tourism services in the post-COVID-19 era.

She explained that Kaohsiung started utilizing MaaS in 2018 with the introduction of its "MeNGo" card, which provides users with a one-stop service that enables them to use the city's MRT, light rail, ferries, buses, and other means of transportation.

According to the southern Taiwan city with a population of around 2.77 million, the pass card is currently used by 45,000 travelers and has facilitated 13.4 million trips to date.

Meanwhile, Odakyu introduced its "EMoT APP" in 2019, which not only supports route planning and digital payments for a range of transport services, but also provides real-time information for the user's trips and related service options (i.e. dining).

Chang said future cooperation will include allowing MeNGo and EMoT APP users to obtain services from the other side using their applications on an integrated service platform.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel