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Multimodal Travel, the future of rail

August 30, 2013
Author: Nicola Reed

Welcome to the first part of two blog posts exploring European multimodal travel. Our guest blogger, Jean-Marc Garzulino, Amadeus Senior Manager Rail & AWT Project Manager, outlines today's travellers' frustrations and takes a look at how a true multimodal future would look like. 

Multimodal transport: key for the European travel industry

Multimodality will be key to the European travel industry. We’re involved in several industry initiatives, including the All Ways Travelling project, which will be key in driving developments for making multimodal travel become a reality.

Specifically, in the rail industry, multimodal transport is a topic that is attracting much interest. The rail connection with different transport modes will help you as a railway to better address your customers’ needs.

Multimodality can improve the rail journey, from start to finish, by creating a simplified, seamless travel experience.

Multimodal travel today: a long way to go

When booking a European journey, the traveller will navigate around different travel retail sites, comparing different departure and arrival times in order to establish a feasible connection, before purchasing different tickets for the separate journey legs. 

The end-goal scenario? The traveller would use a multimodal travel search and booking system, to book different travel options across multiple operators and travel modes. Having a greater choice for a door-to-door travel journey.

They would also book and pay for all modes of their trip in 1 transaction before setting off with a single ticket that covers the entire door-to-door journey. This ticket could be stored within the traveller’s smartphone and, with NFC technology, it wouldn’t even be necessary to scan the ticket itself – the traveller would be recognised by sensors in gates.

While en route to their destination, a trip tracker would be on hand, via their mobile device, to guide them through their journey. Providing helpful information such as the gate number, disruptions alerts or cancellations and enable them to easily rebook onto another mode of transport. 

The travel industry has many challenges to overcome before this vision becomes a reality. In next week’s blog post, we will explore these challenges and analyse how the industry is working on them.

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