KITE - a Knowledge Base for Intermodal Travel in Europe

KITE - a Knowledge Base for Intermodal Travel in Europe


M Wirtz, D Zumkeller, B Chlond, C Schlosser, University of Karlsruhe, DE


"KITE provides for those who provide for intermodality."

The KITE Knowledge Base comprises relevant information about passenger intermodality, can be accessed easily and allows stakeholders to develop and evaluate intermodality related measures.


Long distance journeys are often undertaken by car or airplane even in cases where reasonable modal alternatives exist ? for a journey?s major stages. Reasons for such modal choices are in many cases the lack of integration of transport modes or the limited abilities of individuals to combine different modes by themselves. Additionally transport operators have only limited information about the market potentials for integrated transport services. Significant deficiencies still exist in the knowledge about current and potential intermodal demand and supply.

One of the focuses of the European transport policy is the fostering of passenger intermodality. The KITE project addresses this goal by the collection and systematic arrangement of available information regarding passenger intermodality and the identification of gaps in this field. Therefore the project KITE is funded by the European Commission (DG TREN) as a strategic research project (STREP).

The main outcome of the KITE project is the provision of a Knowledge Base for intermodal travel in Europe. This Knowledge Base comprises all relevant information about passenger intermodality, can be accessed easily and allows stakeholders to develop and evaluate intermodality related measures.

The Knowledge Base uses the wide spread Wiki-technology which has been proven to be one of the current standards for knowledge management. Additionally the knowledge base makes use of semantic annotations which allows the interpretation of information by the computer and therefore allows for a search not only by keywords but also by general subjects. A starting set of general subjects has been defined and it forms the structure for the knowledge base. It is flexible and can be changed by all participating partners at any time. In February 2008 the knowledge base included roughly 150 articles and a thesaurus with over 100 intermodal related definitions.

In addition to the knowledge base an analysis of existing statistics and travel surveys gives insight in existing and latent market potentials. Various national surveys have been reassessed with regard to the degree of comparability with each other. Another project part develops a strategic approach for the collection of intermodal survey data for long distance journeys with a European perspective.

The analyses of user needs and implementational requirements concerning interchange points as well as information and ticketing services provides a catalogue of measures to foster passenger intermodality. Various interchange points in the European Union are therefore analyzed and in depth interviews with interchange point providers compile valuable best practice scenarios.

A tailor-made CBA-technique will allow to assess intermodal measures and strategies. This will provide politics, planners and operators with an easy-to-use instrument to show the impacts, the potential benefits and the economic feasibility of different intermodal measures.

The KITE Knowledge Base will be a core element to support the complementary project European Forum on Intermodal Passenger Travel (LINK).

The KITE partnership joins institutions from Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Portugal and Switzerland. These partners are supported by a Board of National Experts from Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and United Kingdom. Further experts from USA and Japan complete the Board.


Association for European Transport