Smart Mobility

March 14, 2022

What is Urban Intermodality?

To date, it is indisputable that the mobility paradigm is changing at a very rapid pace. The inefficiency and damage of road traffic are no longer a secret. Currently, traditional transport practices are in question due to the multiple issues they cause, such as pollution caused by combustion gasses. Since the Paris Agreement was approved in 2016, the United Nations has firmly committed to mobility that is sustainable. Also, in the 2030 Agenda, the UN has set itself the goal of providing cities with access to transport systems that are safer, more affordable, accessible for all social groups, and sustainable for the planet. Cities need to adapt to these new requirements, and urban intermodality aims to make the transformation of mobility possible in our day-to-day lives.

If you are wondering what intermodality is and you want to know how it helps to achieve these goals… Keep reading this article and learn about the future of transport!

Intermodal Transport

Urban intermodality consists of the transfer of people and goods through different combined modes of transport. It is a system that integrates the entire mobility network of the city. Intermodal transport, also relies on technology innovation and data intelligence to contribute to the unification and sophistication of urban mobility. An intermodal network achieves a rapid combination of different means of transport so that moving from one place to another is faster and more comfortable. In addition, it allows managing resources in a much more profitable way thanks to the fact that all information on means of transport and passenger demands is connected and accessible to users.  

Urban intermodality is the remedy to end the great dependence that currently exists on road driving, which is fractured for the transportation of people and goods. The traditional system is no longer functional enough to meet the needs of the people and the earth. Travelers increasingly choose to use other means such as: buses, subways, trams, etc.

The Intermodality of Public Transport

Most cities now count on diverse options of intermodal transports. For example, in the city of Seville, citizens increasingly prefer to use electric scooters, electric motorbikes or the SeVici rental bike service. In Valencia, intermodal bicycle stations have also been installed near metro or bus stops to improve connections between the media. All these transports can be managed from a single mobile application thanks to Meep, which greatly improves the accessibility and efficiency of services for users.  

Photographer Rob Hampson | Unsplash

Intermodal transport for goods

Intermodality also benefits the transport of goods, since by combining several systems, travel is streamlined and economized. Thanks to intermodal transport, the movement of goods by road in trucks can be combined with trains by railroad tracks. This makes the displacements better adapted to the distribution area. Also, some trains or trucks can be taken to the ports to unload the merchandise directly on the ships, without the need to involve more road transport.  

The 3 key elements to achieve urban intermodality

  • Integration of exchange stations

The transportation hubs must be well integrated to facilitate the transfer between them and make it as fast and easy as possible. This happens by making the routes clear and concise that they include understandable guides or signs, always thought to favor the accessibility of the different social groups. The stations should be created with the comfort of the users in mind, therefore, consider weather conditions when placing stop locations.  

  • Optimized and integrated mobility planning

Urban entities must program all forms of transportation based on the study of citizen demands and coordinate the various people/agencies/entities involved so that services are provided appropriate to their needs. German urban intermodality models have shown that the more communication and coordination there is between transport planners and operators, the greater the efficiency of the system.  

  • Integration of rates

The prices must be clear, with homogeneous payment supports for the different mobility systems. This is the objective set by the Junta de Andalucía, which has committed itself, together with the Renfe company, to carry out a tariff integration of public transport services. This allows you to use a single ticket to travel on different modes of transportation.  

Photograph of kasto

Benefits of Urban Intermodality

  • Regarding the goods: Thanks to a more efficient combination of means of transport and having more players involved in the process, costs and waiting times are minimized.
  • For cities: Improves road safety and decongests cities and highways, improving living conditions. In addition, it causes much less waste compared to traditional transport.
  • For the planet: It reduces CO2 emissions thanks to the fewer number of private vehicles in circulation and allows a more sustainable mobility.
  • For the user: It provides a healthier lifestyle for travelers thanks to the large number of options available including walking.

If you still have questions about urban intermodality, do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you with everything you need. Join sustainable mobility!  

*Main image: Photographer Viktor Forgacs | Unsplash