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Co-modal transport future looks promising

An in-depth look at trends and obstacles in the transport sector will help move Europe to a more sustainable and eco-friendly public transport system that combines different mobility modes.

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Transport in a growing borderless Europe is evolving rapidly as passengers are moving across the continent in larger and larger numbers. Within such a context it is crucial to ensure that the needs of an expanding transport sector can be met and that the transport system remains a sustainable one well into the future. The EU-funded project 'Optimised co-modal passenger transport for reducing carbon emissions' (COMPASS) investigated key socioeconomic, environmental and technological trends and challenges that shape the future of passenger transport. Keeping economic growth and environmental protection in mind, the project worked on outlining future travellers' needs in line with important socioeconomic trends. Project members analysed information and communication technology applications designed to meet passenger demands, with a focus on integrating multimodal transport means. In addition, they evaluated how emerging solutions can help minimise carbon dioxide emissions. The potential of software applications to provide behavioural data for improving travel surveys and fostering harmonisation of data was also assessed. More specifically, the project team identified the key drivers behind future transport developments, including socio-demographic trends, traveller needs, policy implications and co-modal opportunities. It outlined technology solutions for improving long-distance, rural and urban mobility, in addition to assessing emerging solutions to draw conclusions and recommendations for improving transport in the future. In brief, the project investigated transport demand optimisation and looked at how to increase transport infrastructure efficiency in order to improve the cost–benefit ratio. It looked at online collaborative and collective mobility, as well as faster intermodal connections. Hot topics such as smart vehicles, hybrid vehicles, increased safety, enhanced comfort, improved service, better route planning and intelligent traffic management were also examined. The new technologies and strategies identified were disseminated through different online channels, international journals and notable conferences, including a final project conference held in Rome, Italy. In this way, the project's results reached the relevant academics, politicians, business people, user communities and other key stakeholders. The key results from the project have been presented in a handbook that is now available online. Once policymakers and market leaders exploit these valuable results, co-modal transport in Europe will receive an important boost.


Co-modal transport, passenger transport, emissions, smart vehicle, hybrid vehicle, safety, traffic management

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