Providing an end to end journey
Rail can be at the core of many journeys. However, people travel from door to door, and freight from producer to customer. By its nature rail can deliver only part of these journeys. An integrated transport system – linking modes and enabling each to use its strengths to deliver the most sustainable journey – is key to achieving modal shift and bringing economic benefits.
To achieve this, we should work with operators of other modes and with transport and local authorities to improve the quality of the whole journey. We respond to customer needs. This means a continuing focus on customer experience, and greater understanding of sustainable ways to complete the non-rail parts of the journey.
Integrated thinking for the physical journey is crucial. But providing information for planning, and signage and service information throughout a journey, are equally important. And customers expect this information to be free, up to date, and always available. As well as improved intermodal information, this is likely to need a greater range of partnerships or collaborations. Some, such as information management, will be outside the rail and public transport sectors.
Hard issues, such as better station and depot facilities, parking and access need to be combined with soft issues, such as good journey information, integrated timetables, through ticketing. And these all need to be promoted to customers, to improve the overall travel experience. The industry needs to gain a better understanding of the experience of the last mile after the station or depot.
These issues are beginning to be addressed through initiatives such as Station Travel Plans, electric vehicle charging points, and smart cards. Beyond that partnership and collaboration will be needed with complementary providers; whether these relate to walking routes, buses, metros, trams, cycling or payas- you-go car services.