Co-modality and Interfaces Between Short and Long-distance Transport - Lessons Learned from the CLOSER Case Studies

Co-modality and Interfaces Between Short and Long-distance Transport - Lessons Learned from the CLOSER Case Studies


P Christiansen, B J Johansen, J Andersen, O Eidhammer, Institute of Transport Economics, NO


A set of case studies in the FP7 project CLOSER are used for study of good and bad practices related to regulatory framework, organisation, planning and financing with the aim of strengthening co-modal solutions in freight and passenger transport.


Interfaces between long and short-distance transport in a door to door trip remains frequently as the weak link in the transport chain for both passengers and freight. This situation favours the choice of unimodal transport solutions, and jeopardizes the development of more competitive and sustainable transport chains. The result is that door-to-door services- provided by road transport (cars for passengers and trucks for freight) has remained the dominant mode in European transport, and is only challenged by alternative modes only in particular situations (such as high-value travel, congested corridors or very long-distance transport).

The CLOSER project ( has been set to analyse the interfaces and interconnections between long distance transport networks and local/regional transport networks of all modes. The project has been funded within the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission, under the topic TPT-2008.0.0.13 ?New mobility/organisational schemes: interconnection between short and long-distance transport networks?. The purpose of CLOSER is to build upon existing research and practice, developing innovative tools for the analysis of interfaces between long and short-distance transport networks, check these tools in a number of case studies, and make specific recommendations to stakeholders in order to get:
- A more systematic approach to the concept of interfaces between long and short-distance transport (from planning to design and operation).
- Specific guidelines for decision makers in order to cope with the challenges of a particular project, and to get the most out of the opportunities that each project offer in the areas of transport, spatial, and economic development.
- A friendlier regulatory environment; fostering cooperation and supporting better integrated interfaces.
- Improved mechanisms for funding those concepts with a higher degree of integration (including EU funding schemes).
- In-depth involvement of stakeholders, particularly transport operators.

In this paper we focus on the CLOSER case studies and their implications in terms of identification of good and bad practices, as well as transferability and learning across contexts. The comprehensive set of cases that are studied include:
- Flughafen Leipzig-Halle, Germany
- ArmentiƩres station, France
- Oslo bus terminal Vaterland, Norway
- Port of Helsinki ? Vuosaari, Finland
- Thessaloniki port, Greece
- Constantza port, Romania
- Vilnius Airport, Lithuania

Several types of information are collected for each of the CLOSER case studies. We document the best practices and "success stories", as well as lessons learned and "unsuccessful stories". Particular emphasis is placed on best practices and pitfalls related to organisational issues, regulatory framework, and planning and financing, as well as possibilities for learning between passenger and freight transport. Thus, the results can be of great relevance connected to policy makers at local, national and EU level, as well as operators in the private sector.

A particular feature is the joint consideration of case studies from passenger and freight transport. Despite the heterogeneity of passenger and freight transport in terms of legislation, stakeholders and organisation, role of public sector, etc, best practices are explored in light of possibilities for transfer across the traditional distinction between freight and passenger transport. Previous studies have focused mainly on either freight or passenger transport.

From individual cases the contribution to EC transport policy goals is studied, as well as aspects of good and bad practices. The case studies are based on harmonised templates for data collection and reporting of results in order to facilitate cross-case comparisons.

The case studies will ultimately give inputs for a work package devoted to development of recommendations. The recommendations will be presented through three separate guidebooks will, one for passenger transport, one for freight transport, and the third one for decision-makers. Our paper documents the lessons learned from an often neglected weak link in transport chain for both passenger and freight. This has the potential to make interfaces between long and short-distance transport more efficient and more sustainable.


Association for European Transport