Two policy priorities for transport in the European Union are the
development of the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) for
long-distance mobility and the promotion of journeys that efficiently
combine the use of different modes. To be effective, these initiatives
require good inter-connection between long-distance and local/regional
networks, particularly at the interface between urban and inter-urban
transport. There have been a variety of research findings and pilot
experiences aimed at improving such connections, which now need to be
The aim of CARISMA was to identify good practice in the inter-connection of transport networks and to help build a consensus on how to tackle key issues, especially by looking from a local perspective at connections with the long-distance networks.
CARISMA brought together experiences from across Europe to provide a state-of-the-art review of approaches to network inter-connection. The main focus was on interchanges within the public transport system and terminals connecting public transport to private road journeys.
Policy towards the location of major interchanges was identified as one key issue. Such infrastructure has tremendous influence on land-use and land values close to the site, and consequently can generate much traffic locally. Strong co-operation is therefore needed between transport and regional planners. CARISMA proposed that the TEN-T guidelines should be updated with new procedures to support decisions on interchange location, taking account of different stakeholder interests.
Financing of interchanges is another problem area. A key issue is the extent to which the largely profitable long-distance operators or the often-subsidised local operators should pay. Also, to what extent should the revenues from rising land prices and economic development around the interchange be captured to fund the basic infrastructure? CARISMA concluded that there is no standard solution, but that legislation is needed to ensure that decisions are in line with public policy objectives. Even in those countries where formalised procedures exist for network planning, there is often a lack of criteria and clear responsibilities for decisions on the location of interchanges.
CARISMA found that short transfer and waiting times are crucial for passenger satisfaction with an interchange. This requires harmonised schedules for all modes available at the interchange, through ticketing for multi-modal journeys, and co-operation between modes in handling system interruptions. These requirements may be at odds with the priorities of the interchange operator, more interested in generating revenue through retail and other services. Thus, there is a need for unified management of the facility, supported by good co-operation from the connected transport systems - which may in turn, require public intervention.
CARISMA concluded that there appears to be gaps between the responsibilities of planning agencies at various levels that can act as impediments to the effective planning and running of interchanges. Therefore, there is a need to define the authorities responsible for the inter-connection of long distance, regional and local transport networks. In parallel with this, the financial responsibility for interchanges needs to be defined.
The project noted that deregulation of public transport does not facilitate smooth and seamless travel, whatever the other benefits. Therefore, deregulation needs to be accompanied by effective legislative and planning frameworks to ensure co-ordination of services.