Intermodal Transport Solutions

Carin Rautenbach
Transport infrastructure projects continue to be strong performers in the U.S., UK, Europe and the Middle East. As the financial squeeze continues, these projects remain attractive due to their long-term regenerative benefits.

With all countries exploring sustainability issues, transport projects are in a unique position. They are generally seen as efficient users of energy, producing little or no pollution at the point of use.

One of the key challenges is to achieve a major modal shift in transport preference. Intermodal journeys therefore need to become more attractive. Transportation hubs must promote effective interchange between different transport modes.

By default, some modes of transport have become intermodal over time. The airport is a classic example. The hub and spoke system, pioneered in the U.S. in the 1950s, has come a long way. Most airports now have good car parking and public transport connections. Transport hubs now offer combinations of connections between bus, mass rapid transit, air, car (park and ride) and rail (both high speed and classic).


Key factors influencing effectiveness of transport interchanges:

  • Ability to change between different modes

  • Logistical and operational factors

  • How well synchronized are services between different modes?

  • Physiological factors, notably fear of crime

  • Physical design and layout, e.g. way finding and crowding management

  • Physical location of interchange

  • Ease of access to/from interchange

  • Availability of parking

  • Economic and social factors, e.g. cost of travel

  • Amenities and journey experience, e.g. business lounges

  • Commercial services at the interchange.


Effective transport and urban design solutions are central elements of sustainable developments. Successful interchanges will:

  • Promote accessibility to a variety of integrated travel modes

  • Optimize traffic and transport efficiency

  • Reduce congestion and environmental impacts

  • Function as an integral element of urban design and public realm

  • Sometimes act as the brand for the scheme

  • Achieve cost-effectiveness in construction and operation

  • Facilitate commercial development of the site and surrounding area.


Faithful+Gould has global transport hub experience reinforced by strong links with our parent company Atkins.

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