Web Development by SUSTAINABLE

Integrated and multi-modal transport planning: a customer experience revolution

4 min

c. Real-Napster, Pixabay

Local authorities could unlock more sustainable, more reliable public transport by implementing interconnected, multimodal systems. Quadrant Transport learns more with Costain’s Business Development Director Andrea Green, and Transport Focus’ Senior Stakeholder Manager, Linda McCord, who also chairs the West Midlands Bus Alliance.

Our SPOTLIGHT: Midlands event, Integrating Journeys to Transform the Customer Experience, highlighted the importance of integrated transport.

Transport networks should be efficient, affordable and accessible. By implementing an interconnected, multi-modal transport system, regions in the UK will be able to offer their residents better access to better public transport.

Without this interconnected system, there is an over-reliance on cars which can result in negative social, economic and environmental consequences.

Speaking at the event, Transport Focus’ Linda McCord and Costain’s Andrea Green discussed the benefits of connected transport, as well as highlighting how the West Midlands are setting an example for the rest of the country to follow.

“Good public transport brings freedom for jobs, education and leisure. It should also give people choice,” said Linda. She explained ‘good’ public transport means interconnected, multimodal transport which gives people options on how they want to travel.

At Costain, they have created many of the technical solutions that will make the future of transport better. Hoping to ensure everyone has an accessible, stress-free door-to-door journey, Costain wants to emphasise the importance of integrated transport.

“Integrated transport takes the stress out of journeys, [and allows you] to be confident in your door-to-door experience,” Andrea said.

Public transport would be delivered better in a coordinated way. Linda explained how it is “important to see public transport as a whole, delivering the services that people need.”

By giving an excellent service with joined-up information, integrated transport means customers have ease of transfer from one mode to the next. This, Andrea said, is the “single biggest attraction going forward.”

“We know one of the biggest drivers of satisfaction is value for money, this is not just about cost, it is also about what people get for what they’re paying,” Linda added. “Interconnected transport provides us with a unique opportunity to improve punctuality and reliability.”

A greener future for connected communities

“COVID-19 has caused us to think differently about our transport networks and our future,” Andrea explained. “The pandemic has shown that the future must be greener, a carbon-zero future, leaving a lasting positive legacy not just for the environment, but for connected communities,” she continued.

Requiring a modal shift, these greener, more connected communities need interconnected transport to thrive. The development of connected digital transport infrastructure promises not only to improve mobility for people but could help tackle the climate challenge too.

“Our job is to help people make better choices that will unlock our greener future,” said Andrea. “At Costain, we are increasingly recognising we can create those better, sustainable journeys by providing integrated solutions that help customers make much better choices,” Andrea added.

Connectivity will not only facilitate the integration of electric vehicles and reduce pollution due to stop-start traffic, but it will also enable the effective design of low carbon, multimodal transport system – which can easily be navigated by people seeking a seamless, low carbon journey.

Andrea said, highlighting the green benefits to interconnected transport, “[Costain] can deliver a carbon-zero future, a better environment and better-connected communities.”

Collaboration for success

The SPOTLIGHT: Midlands event, Integrating Journeys to Transform the Customer Experience, showcased the West Midlands’ efforts to implement an interconnected, multimodal transport system.

Linda explained, “Here in the West Midlands, we have a commitment and a desire, a passion really, to deliver for people so that they will use public transport.”

What the event highlighted is the need for transport companies and organisations to work together to deliver the best possible service they can.

For example, a great forum that is making integrated journeys happen is the Grand Rail Collaboration. The partnership will ensure even closer working across the rail industry to coordinate improvements in the best interest of the customer.

There is a desire to work collaboratively in the West Midlands between transport companies of all modes. Through healthy debate and conversation, these companies in the West Midlands are coming up with integrated transport solutions that benefit the customer and the environment.

This desire and passion to work collaboratively provide a roadmap to other local authorities around the country which are looking to shift to better, well-connected transport.