How Finland Can Serve as an Example for Mobility as a Service Adoption in Indonesia

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) emerges as a mobility solution by integrating various transportation services to offer convenience and smoothness for its users.

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) emerges as a mobility solution by integrating various transportation services to offer convenience and smoothness for its users. MaaS meets mobility needs by combining services such as taxis, on-demand ridesharing, public transportation, and vehicle rentals into a single digital platform. Finland, known as one of the pioneers in Mobility as a Service (MaaS) globally, enacted the world’s first law related to the integration of all modes of transportation, known as “Future Mobility Finland.” Indonesia, facing mobility challenges such as traffic congestion, air pollution, and inadequate public transportation, can learn from Finland’s implementation of MaaS. MaaS can serve as an environmentally friendly alternative to address these challenges. Finland has established close partnerships between the government, transportation operators, and technology companies. Indonesia needs to encourage similar collaborations to create an integrated MaaS solution.

From a business model perspective, three elements illustrate value creation: value offerings and propositions, value creation systems, and revenue models (Aapaoja). Elements such as improved marketing, MaaS-related socialization and benefits, the effectiveness and efficiency of MaaS, and environmental impact can be advantages for MaaS adoption in Indonesia. Examining the business pillar scores from the UNDP Digital Development Compass, Finland, with a score of 5.36 for its business commitment impact, enters the transformational stage, emphasizing algorithm transparency, open data, and inclusive recruitment practices, which Indonesia can emulate in MaaS development (UNDP).

Finland faced challenges similar to Indonesia before the introduction of MaaS, such as carbon emissions, as Finland had one of the highest car ownership rates in Europe (OECD). Finland demonstrated commitment to reducing carbon emissions by motivating the shift from private vehicles to public transportation through MaaS. Indonesia can adopt a similar strategy to address air pollution in major cities. Following the implementation of MaaS, as seen in Helsinki, Finland, communities are encouraged to use public transportation due to the ease of MaaS, which integrates various transportation modes into one mobility service app. Finland aims to become the “world’s first fossil-free welfare society” by 2035 (OECD). Indonesia can learn from this approach by developing regulations that support comprehensive MaaS implementation, covering permits, security, and clear integration standards.

The Finnish government supports MaaS through new transportation service laws enacted in 2017 and effective in 2018, aiming to promote transportation service digitization and more efficient data usage (Future Mobility Finland). This legal framework indicates strong government support for long-term changes in public transportation to benefit from improved mobility services. Finland’s commitment to digital well-being, with a score of 5.53 in tracking and mitigating misinformation (UNDP), demonstrates how reforms in rules affect Finland’s digital well-being. Involving both public and private sector stakeholders in MaaS development contributed to the successful implementation of MaaS in Finland, as seen in the transformation of traffic from private vehicles to public transportation, reducing pollution.

Indonesia’s transportation-related innovation ecosystem is rapidly evolving, with the growth of fast-paced technology startups, increased adoption of digital technology, and government efforts to develop regulations and invest in the sector. Finland adopted technology to create effective and efficient MaaS services. Indonesia needs to ensure adequate technological infrastructure and encourage innovation in developing user-friendly MaaS applications. Digital payment adoption in public transportation is increasing, facilitating user access. Digital infrastructure also improves operational efficiency and monitoring of public transportation in various Indonesian cities.

Similar to Finland before MaaS, major cities in Indonesia, such as Jakarta, face worsening air quality due to industrial activities and vehicle emissions. The government has implemented policies, including emission tests, and emphasized the importance of reducing private vehicle use, but the impact on the public remains limited. MaaS concepts, implemented locally in applications like Jaklingko, integrating various public transportation modes, can be successful. Finland’s success in MaaS involves active engagement from all stakeholders, including transportation operators, technology companies, and civil society. Indonesia needs active participation from all relevant parties to ensure MaaS sustainability and acceptance.

The exploration and implementation of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) in Indonesia face several challenges that need to be addressed for full success. Challenges include uneven infrastructure, technological limitations, low digital literacy, regulatory complexity, high private vehicle ownership, data privacy issues, and the importance of active involvement from various stakeholders. Additionally, geographical and demographic differences, carbon emission reduction policies, and societal readiness for change are crucial factors. Overcoming these obstacles requires synergy between the government, private sector, and community participation, focusing on education, regulatory alignment, and technological innovation as key elements to ensure MaaS success in Indonesia.

As the concept of MaaS is relatively new in Indonesia, the impact on society is not yet optimal. Indonesia is accelerating its digital talent by focusing on digital literacy, with a score of 3.48 in the people pillar of the UNDP Digital Development Compass, indicating a systematic approach (UNDP). Indonesia lacks specific renewable laws like Finland’s focusing on integrated public transportation. By adopting and adapting Finland’s laws, Indonesia can actively support MaaS through regulations and incentives. Finland successfully changed societal habits by promoting and socializing MaaS and its benefits. Indonesia needs to focus on public education, communicating the advantages of MaaS in terms of efficiency, comfort, and positive environmental impact. Indonesia’s efforts to increase digital literacy are commendable, with plans to optimize the railway system, but digital literacy development must be applied to all layers of Indonesian society for the wise and appropriate use of information and communication technology. Addressing the digital gap between major cities like Jakarta and smaller cities is also crucial to increasing the use of environmentally friendly technology in meeting transportation needs.

Indonesia is well-suited to adopt Mobility as a Service (MaaS) from Finland because this model can provide an integrated and efficient solution to the growing mobility challenges in increasingly complex urban areas. Finland has successfully implemented MaaS by combining various transportation modes such as buses, trains, bicycles, and taxi services into one accessible digital platform. In Indonesia, where urban mobility challenges are escalating, and urbanization is rapidly growing, MaaS can be a concept to improve connectivity between transportation modes, reduce congestion, and decrease air pollution. Furthermore, MaaS can provide better accessibility for people living in remote areas or areas not served by traditional public transportation. By adopting MaaS, Indonesia can create a more efficient, environmentally friendly transportation system that is easily accessible to all segments of society, aligning with sustainable growth in the era of rapid urbanization.

In conclusion, Finland serves as an exemplary model for the adoption of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) in Indonesia. The government and private sector’s roles are crucial to fully support transportation-related innovations, reducing private vehicle use, and lowering carbon emissions. With MaaS, users can experience enhanced convenience, leading to increased public transportation use. Indonesia, as a country adopting the MaaS concept, must adapt to local conditions. The introduction of technology should be accompanied by a society ready for change and able to maximize the benefits of such technology. Indonesia’s efforts in enhancing digital literacy are rational, as proficient digital talent is beneficial in the current era of digital transformation.

Fathanaditya Rianto
Fathanaditya Rianto
Fathanaditya Rianto, master's student in International Relations at Gadjah Mada University, specializing in Digital Transformation and Competitiveness. My research delves into the influence of digital advancements on global relations, aiming to contribute innovative solutions to the evolving international scenario.