Dutch competition authority signals bottlenecks in access for MaaS providers to public transportation services
On 8 March 2021, the Authority for Consumers & Markets (‘ACM’) published its market study into the access for Mobility as a Service (‘MaaS’) providers to public transportation services in the Netherlands. A MaaS platform integrates various methods of transport across different providers which offers travellers the opportunity to plan, book and pay for journeys in a single application. The ACM market study identified to which public transportation services MaaS-providers have access and under what conditions.
ACM recognised in its market study improvements in the accessibility of public transportation services. For example, as a result of an initiative by market participants to include in public transport concessions an obligation for the concession holder to offer access to public transportation services under transparent and non-discriminatory terms. On the other hand, ACM concluded that several bottlenecks remain on the Dutch MaaS-market. ACM noted for instance that the exact content and enforceability of these new conditions in public transport concessions is not fully clear and that the ministry responsible for the concession of the main national railway network does not participate in this initiative. Furthermore, ACM finds that MaaS-providers are not always able to purchase public transport services against the same tariffs that are available on the national contactless smart card for public transport in the Netherlands. ACM also noted that access for MaaS providers to public transport services is in some cases only provided in the context of a pilot, resulting in uncertainty with respect to the continuity of these offerings.
ACM applauds the initiative by contracting authorities to include access obligations in their public transport concessions in order to stimulate further evolution of the Dutch MaaS-market. ACM however states it will closely monitor whether the identified bottlenecks in the market study will be sufficiently addressed by market participants in the near future.
Please find the ACM press release (in English) here and the full ACM market study report (in Dutch only) here.
For more information please and contact Piet-Hein Eijssen and Joost van Roosmalen