During the first half of 2010, I have attended a few events, with many discussing the subject of intermodality. INTERMODES 2010 held in Brussels, reviewed the different means of transport and how today's innovation is helping us enjoy a near seamless travel experience.
Long-term investments: a quick transformation for the traveller
Long term investment is being made to ensure that when we arrive at our destination train station we move swiftly and easily to a "docking bay" where our onward journey is awaiting us. Many stations are going through massive refurbishment to include a quick transition for the traveller from one to the other, Marseilles in the south of France is just one of them.
The hub can know take various forms depending on the onward journey - airport, bus terminal, taxi or pick up from friends and relatives, a lot will depend on the final destination whether it is for business or leisure.
"Over 300 million passengers are taking the bus for international long distance travel basically having a 7-12% market share of the international traveller." President of the Association of Paneuropean Coach Terminals
While we focus on the evolution of the high-speed train, the international motorways are still being maintained to a high standard and offer a very attractive alternative. Whereas the travel times will be longer for the same distance the price of a ticket remains extremely competitive.
3 areas to change customer habits
Rail deregulation will attract more railways to take on the more lucrative city pairs and Michael Robson, secretary general of the European Rail Infrastructure Managers noted that already SNCF, DB and FS had already applied for train paths across Europe. Others are already taking advantage of open access such as NTV, Veolia, and Arriva and Mr Robson believed that if they stick to the 3 areas of on time, cleanliness, and "guarantee a seat" then they will attract customers to change previous habits.