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Last edited 17 May 2019
Integrated transport system
Different modes of transport have differing technical and operational capabilities. Each mode of transport in the system has to develop its capacity to meet specific demand viewed within the total demand for all modes of transport in the system. In this way, as well as competing with each other, they also supplement each other.
Some examples of integration between transport modes, which make up part of the overall system, include:
- Street trams located in large pedestrian zones outside railway station entrances for ease of interchange.
- Stations that combine bus, train, subway/tube services.
- Circulation systems – escalators, lifts, and so on – that provide easy access to different forms of transport.
- Same-level interchange between different systems.
- Bicycle storage capacity on buses/trains.
- Park and ride facilities.
- Route planners that include different modes of transport.
- Maps within different modes of transport showing interchanges with other systems.
- Timetables that optimise transfers between systems.
- Ticketing that allows transfers between systems.
A successfully integrated transport system involves the coordination and optimisation of timetables, to ensure that users do not have undue waiting times between different modes. The central aim should always be the decrease in time of the user’s journey from the origin to destination.
One of the primary challenges in integrating systems is the coordination of the different agencies responsible for different transport modes, some of which will be privately-operated. Coordinated planning ensures easy interchange, in terms of both proximity and time, resulting in trips with minimum disruption.
This is also important in terms of providing real-time service information, allowing users to make informed decisions in response to changing infrastructure situations, such as train delays or flight cancellations.
 Integrated infrastructure
This involves the seamless connection of various transport modes. For example, the connection of park-and-ride facilities and stations; connections between cycleways and public transport; connections between public transport and retail/commercial centres that are popular destinations.
 Integrated operations
This involves the coordination of infrastructure and planning, to ensure seamless connections between, for example, bus-to-bus, bus-to-train, bus-to-ferry, and so on. Rather than acting purely in competition with each other, the modes need to complement each other. Operationally, this can include integrated ticketing and fares to enable user transfer without financial penalty.
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