UCL Energy Institute


Melinda Matyas

Thesis Title: Reinventing Multimodal Sustainable Urban Transport: Demand Analysis of a ‘Mobility as a Service’ Concept for London

Primary supervisor: Prof. Andreas Schafer
Secondary supervisor: Dr. Maria Kamargianni
Sponsor : EPSRC

Starting date: Sept. 2014
Projected completion date: Sept. 2018

The growing pressures on urban transportation systems created a wave of new mobility services that have resulted in complex and fragmented transport network. In order to provide seamless door-to-door mobility, cooperation and integration between transport providers is essential. “Mobility as a Service” (MaaS) provides just this: a platform that integrates all transport providers and their services. It allows the consumer to choose and buy mobility services on the go, or as monthly mobility packages that include all transport modes or combinations of modes that satisfy their needs. MaaS also provides users with an integrated multimodal journey planner, booking system, smart ticketing and payment and real time information. This research contributes to the understanding of consumer demand for buying and using MaaS, as well as its potential impact on private vehicle ownership. Special attention will be paid to the effect of mobility service bundling on the diffusion of innovative transport modes. 

Data will be collected in London using the state-of-the-art survey tool, the Future Mobility Survey (FMS). FMS’s core is a mobile app based activity diary that is supplemented by a web-based questionnaire collecting attitudinal data towards innovation adoption, socio-economic and stated preference (SP) data. The collected data will be analysed using Discrete Choice Models (DCM) in order to determine demand for MaaS and its effect on transport mode choice. 

The results of this thesis are expected provide multidimensional contributions to the research community, transport providers and policy makers. First and foremost, as MaaS is a very new concept, there is little research on it. This thesis will provide insights on how to collect, clean and analyse transport data using a mobile app and on how to design surveys and menu based SP for such customized mobility services. To our knowledge, this is the first time that this topic is thoroughly examined and modelled. The model estimation result will also offer significant insights about integrating mobility services and how bundling can effect the diffusion of innovative transport modes.


Prior to commencing her PhD, Melinda completed her MSc in Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment at the UCL Energy Institute with Distinction. Her MSc thesis titled “Calculating Substitution Elasticities Using Discrete Choice Models: An Application to London Commute Mode Choice” sparked her interest in transportation research. Before coming to the UK, she studied Economics at Boston University with double minors in Environmental Analysis and Policy and International Relations. Besides working towards her PhD, she is currently one of the Leaders of the International Road Federation Young Professionals Programme. 

Publications and other work

Academic publications

MSc Dissertation:
Matyas, M., 2014. Calculating Substitution Elasticities Using Discrete Choice Models: An Application to London Commute Mode Choice. Dissertation submitted to the University College London Energy Institute.

Research Activity:
FS-MaaS Project: Feasibility Study for the “Mobility as a Service” Concept in London funded by the UK Department for Transport.