Prototypes of Business Models for Improved Intermodal Transport of Passengers
V Reis, R Macario, Instituto Superior Tecnico, PT
The aim of the research was the development of prototypes of suitable business models for intermodal or interconnecting services that will contribute to build sustainable mobility solutions.
The research focused on the development and analysis of new mobility schemes and related organisational patterns at the interface and interconnection between long distance transport networks and local/regional transport networks of all modes. The concept under focus lies on the rational that it is possible to obtain better market share in long distance passenger transport modes (e.g. rail, coach or air transport) if only the “long-distance” part of the trip was considered by travellers for their modal choice. However, if the final destination is not easy to reach any of these advantages would be easily cancelled. Time spent on board the “long-distance” mode can be used to provide passengers with information about the best path from the arrival station to their final destination, and possibly also sell them valid tickets for that local transport, and to identify groups of passengers going to destinations close-by to one-another and organise, for example, a taxi or mini-van transport for them, selling the corresponding voucher aboard the “long-distance” mode. These are conceptually simple operations, often requiring only some real-time telecommunication (such as the case of the train-taxi in the Netherlands) but there are organizational and contractual difficulties in its service provision that are invisible to the final customer. However, these services despite representing a small portion of the mobility chain offer an upgraded fluidity in the whole door to door trip and, as such, have a considerable influence on the public perception of transport attention to their needs and of the expected costs and difficulties of the local component of long distance transport. They represent the missing link of transport networks.
The aim of the research was the development of prototypes of suitable business models for intermodal or interconnecting services that will contribute to build sustainable mobility solutions. A business model is the method of doing business by which a company can sustain itself. The business model spells-out how a company makes money by specifying where it is positioned in the value chain. Prototypes of business models are examples that represent core aspects of a business, including purpose, offerings, strategies, infrastructure, organizational structures, trading practices, and operational processes and policies. The framework proposed by Alexander Osterwalder was used for the development of the prototypes of business models. This author characterizes a business model along nine dimensions.
The research was based on eleven case studies, each one focused on a specific intermodal transport chain. In what concerns the transfer node, four were on airports (Faro, Portugal, Stockholm-Arlanda, Sweden, Frankfurt-Hahn, Germany, Antwerp, Belgium), two on maritime ports (Patras, Greece, Kalamata, Greece), six in bus terminals (Madrid, Spain, Lyon, France, Gothenburg, Sweden, Zaragoza, Spain, Lisbon, Portugal).
Two prototypes of business models are presented. Each prototype is meant to overcome a specific type of barriers, depending on their location, namely: on the links or on the node.
The research presented in this paper was developed in the European Commission funded research project HERMES.
Association for European Transport