Founded in Manchester in 2016 on a not-for-profit basis, Travel Spirit is currently building up a global community of innovation-centred partners.

It has already developed an Open Internet of Mobility (OIM) as a framework for ensuring that new integrated travel services offer full accessibility and transferability, passenger data portability, environmental soundness and social value.

Rail and bus fare payment systems, it urges, must extend seamlessly to include parking, lift sharing and retail purchases.

Travel Spirit sees public transport as the backbone of any 'robust' MaaS eco-system, and warns that 'if we allow services to be casualties of digital disruption, it will be very difficult to rebuild them in a viable and effective manner'.

The think tank wants to see the UK government take the lead in deploying an OIM framework, with a particular emphasis on air quality issues and the needs of young travellers.

On the regional distribution of gains, it cites a recent survey of transport and management consultants, public sector officials and technologists, which showed most respondents feel major urban centres will be the main beneficiaries of MaaS. 

Travel Spirit CEO Giles Bailey is therefore prioritising a drive aimed at smaller regional centres, using a new Openness Index Tool to assess the current quality of their public transport and shape future service development.