Subscribe to be notified for updates: RSS Feed

On line training

Introduction – The evolution in urban mobility patterns in the last decades translates into considerable growth of car-based trips in cities. Traffic jams and pollution  generated a new approach oriented towards increase higher quality of life.  This marked the use of various public transport modes in the cities, the introduction of flexible transport services in low density of population / low public transport demand areas, etc. However, “integrating” various public transport services seems to be the key factor in a sustainable urban development as urban public transport is concerned.


In planning and awarding services, integration and coordination among different modes and stakeholders (other departments, sectors; Health, Education, etc.) dealing with sustainable mobility as a whole, represents a strategic objective for delivering intermodality and co-modality. Of course, the result (efficient integration) can be a benefit for the users and also for the contract, distributed between the PTA and the operator(s). (E.g. Services integration can improve levels in satisfaction for all users including – rural urban, elderly and or disabled people, commuters, education, health, social services, leisure and business. Integration between modes can lead to the development of multi modal networks including; bus, train, metro, tram, car sharing, bike sharing, taxis car hire with drivers and parking management);

 One of the key objectives for a PTA is to be able to integrate all modes of transport to allow the development of efficient, sustainable networks.  The design of a multi-modal PTA makes it possible for integrated services to be contracted through one single contact.  In many cases existing working practices within public authorities will see each department tendering its own transport requirements.   Using an integrated model a more coordinated approach can be considered where the needs of Education, Health and Social Services can be integrated into the public transport process to maximize the use of resources, reduce duplication and lead to more customer focused service design as the true demand of an area can be identified through one source. Integrated Transport Units offers one approach to trying to achieve this which has been adopted widely in the UK.


What does “Transport Integration” mean?

NEA defines integration by further and more comprehensive statement as: “ The organisation process through which elements of the passenger transport system (network and infrastructure, tariffs and ticketing, information and marketing, etc.) are, across modes and operators, brought into closer and more efficient interaction, resulting in an overall positive enhancement to the overall state and quality of the services linked to the individual travel components.” (NEA Transport research and training. (2003). Integration and regulatory structures in public transport, Transport studies unit, University of Oxford)


This definition emphasises that integration is a process rather than a state and it is assumed to be less efficient and less close in the absence of an appropriate process. Furthermore, it refers to all characteristics of the passenger transport service, including infrastructures, tariff and information systems and especially the authorities and organisations which are involved in planning, managing and running the public transport systems. This definition even goes further than the borders of public transport systems and includes wider integration with other transport modes (e.g. walking, cycling and private cars) and other non-transport services such as town planning and environmental and social policies .


A more comprehensive description is provided by

“Transport Integration means that whatever modes or types of transport (rail, road, water, air) are involved, they all operate as one ‘seamless’ entity – for the benefit of the fare paying customer.


Private transport usually provides ‘door to door’ transport (albeit with a walk between the car park and ultimate destination) and whilst this is not always a realistic possibility for public transport the concept of ‘transport integration’ is to provide a ‘seamless’ journey that is as ‘door to door’ as possible.


This is achieved by planning services so that where a change of vehicle is required passengers can enjoy easy to use, pleasant & sheltered interchange facilities plus short waits for the next service. Furthermore, just as when a motorist buys fuel they do so once for the whole journey so with passenger transport the passenger should be able to benefit from through ‘one purchase’ ticketing for the whole journey.


Public transport can often be thought of rather like a tree, with a large trunk that feeds into smaller branches, and ultimately, twigs.


InterCity railways represent the trunks; high capacity urban, suburban and underground rail systems represent the major branches; monorails, rural railways and urban tramways represent the smaller branches, etc., down to low capacity small minibuses and automated ‘cabin’ transports for the twigs.


As with trees all these components are important to the overall health of the system; so whilst the ‘chopping-off’ (closure) of a few smaller branches may not appear to have an immediate negative effect ultimately it will harm the whole entity (as experience in Britain with the many railway branch-line, tramway and trolleybus closures in the 1950’s and 1960’s has demonstrated with the present-day severe traffic congestion experienced in many areas).”

Integration Calgary




Integration Dusseldorf




Integration walkway


Under the EPTA project, a number of  INTEGRATION best practices have been collected and analyzed. They are presented below: