Ride-sharing an impetus for railways

ÖBB Rail & Drive service, source: ÖBB

Ride-sharing could stimulate the development of the European railways. In order to facilitate this and to provide seamless mobility, the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), together with its partners, is carrying out the RIDE2RAIL project. Its results will be verified at four European cities that were chosen as the pilot locations.

For a better understanding of the passenger behaviour when commuting, the researchers of the RIDE2RAIL project are providing two surveys on ride-sharing and on choice criteria for multimodal transport. This will help to achieve the key goal of the project, which is “is to develop an innovative framework for intelligent mobility, facilitating the efficient combination of flexible and scheduled transport services, thus enhancing the performance of the overall mobility system”. Any interested person is able to participate in questioning by following the dedicated links: https://bit.ly/rs-r2r for ride-sharing and https://bit.ly/cc-r2r for multimodal transport.

The RIDE2RAIL project started in December 2019. It is coordinated by UITP. Besides this organisation, there are 16 other partners such as the International Union of Railways (UIC), the Association of the European Rail Supply Industry (UNIFE) or research institutions from the United Kingdom (Newcastle University), Slovakia (University of Žilina). The project is funded by the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

Passengers transfer from train to bus in Switzerland, source: SBB
Passengers transfer from train to bus in Switzerland, source: SBB

Four pilots

“Offering a seamless experience of multimodal travel is the key to promote the modal shift towards public and shared mobility and promote sustainable mobility,” the RIDE2RAIL project declared. To identify criteria and challenges for multimodal travel planning as well as to test and verify the related business cases, the researchers chose four pilot cities in Europe: Padua (Italy), Brno (Czechia), Athens (Greece) and Helsinki (Finland). In these demo sites, real commuters and users will be using the solutions developed by RIDE2RAIL.

Brno case

The project researchers analysed the opportunities for daily commuters in the mentioned locations. In the case of Brno, the second-largest city in Czechia, the inhabitants of its surroundings are able to use the well-developed rail and bus network of the South Moravian region. However, there are some difficulties for sustainable and seamless mobility. One of them is to travel alone in a separate car.

“There are various local hubs used by daily commuters while travelling to work in the city of Brno. They often travel by their own private cars from their homes to the closest local transport hub, where they transfer to any of the public transport means. Certainly, most of these commuters travel alone, each in a separate car. One of the specific challenges of the project is to encourage such lonely car drivers to share the capacity of their cars with other travellers,” the researchers of the RIDE2RAIL project highlighted.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko was editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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