As cities invest into their public transport systems, a fundamental question arises: how can they connect travellers to their destinations using a limited number of stations? The solution is found in intermodality: the combination of different modes of transport to go from origin to destination in one journey.
On the road towards sustainable urban mobility, it is in cities’ best interest to foster intermodality between public transport and bicycles in order to provide citizens with a comfortable, efficient transportation ecosystem that will easily take them from point A to point B. The integration of bicycles and transit is the best of both worlds: The flexibility and coverage of the bicycle, combined with the speed and convenience of a train system.
The case of the Netherlands
The case of the Netherlands is illustrative of the advantages of investing in intermodality. The country has invested in a high frequency rail system which offers 4 to 6 intercity services per hour between its major cities. However, their rail system only serves up to three major stations in each city, thus failing to connect passengers with their final destinations. The Netherlands has found in bikes the solution to connect dispersed origins and destinations to this limited number of stations. They have invested in high quality station facilities, including bike parking but also high frequency inter-city services, using the bike as a tool to bring masses to stations.
The results are clear: where 20 years ago 30% of people travelling by train arrived at the station by bike, this share has now risen to 50% on a national level and 60% in major cities. In turn, this has helped almost double the number of rail passengers in the Netherlands in the last 20 years.
By investing into facilities that make stations more easily accessible by bicycle, the Netherlands has managed to not only increase the number of users who arrive at the stations by bike as opposed to car or other, less sustainable modes of transport. But they have managed to effectively foster the use of their rail system, almost doubling the number of users.
Simone Jornik, a cycle parking consultant at Movares, highlights the importance of bicycle parking in stations. In her words “50% of the travellers are welcomed at the bike parking because it is the first thing they encounter when they arrive at the train station”. In this way, providing quality, comfort, and safe parking is crucial in fostering intermodality. Several Marketplace solutions improve parking at stations:
Neko’s Double Decker Bike Rack bridges the need for available bike parking space that is comfortable and easy to use. They have designed a double decker bike rack that does not require the user to lift the bike at all. Their product economizes space at train stations while providing a user-friendly experience.
Don Cicleto’s Bicihangar Rocket targets the need for safety in intermodality through a smart, modular, and scalable bike and scooter parking for cities that protects bicycles and scooters from vandalism, theft, and inclement weather.
Mobilypod has developed a secure bike shelter made from recycled shipping containers that offers high security to its users, allowing them to leave their bikes at stations without worrying about their safety.
BLOCK 2P has premiered the next generation of bicycle and scooter racks with a novel 2-point locking system, coupled with a software system that enhances smart city urban mobility tasks and enabled automated bike and scooter rentals.
However, intermodality is not limited to bikes. The use of other Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs), such as electric scooters has increased exponentially over the last few years. Just like bikes, they connect travellers to their destinations and can be used in combination with public transport improving intermodality. For this reason, the Marketplace compiles different mobility products that aim to promote intermodality between public transport and other PMDs:
QOOB addresses the challenges of intermodality by combining a charging and parking station with an IoT technology thus, protecting vehicles from theft, providing its own universal charging system, and allowing for the management of all the services from their app.
Trap offers urban parking docks for micromobility, with an integrated charging station that is compatible with renewable energy sources. As well, it provides a high-tech and multi-lock system that equips each parking space with greater security.
KNOT has developed a universal docking and charging station for scooter sharing, compatible with most existing models. They provide an all-in-one solution with stations, scooters, and a sharing app which has already been installed in 6 countries.
Solum Helios stands for the new generation of micro-mobility docking and charging stations. Thanks to a solar pavement, Helios increases flexibility to install docking stations that allow electric charging.
Updated on 11 August 2022.