Integrated Transport 101: critical success factors

Moving people has often been considered from a mode perspective – by road or rail – rather than taking a whole of transport approach, ie integrated transport.

Now with increasing travel demand and resource constraints it is more critical that proper consideration is given to the factors that ensure integration success.

A recent report published by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia “Integrating Australia’s Transport Systems: a strategy for an efficient transport future” [1].

The report identifies five critical success factors for integration:

  • Institutions – to ensure the right transport choices are made for commuters;
  • Infrastructure – to ensure commuters can enjoy the most convenient travel experience possible;
  • Network – to ensure commuters can make a joined up journey from origin to destination;
  • Information – to ensure commuters can make informed decisions before and during their journey; and
  • Fares – to ensure commuters aren’t penalised for making the most efficient use of an integrated transport system.

Passenger transport functions need to be vested in a single agency which is responsible for policy, planning, pricing, and operations across modes.

Modes must physically connect as seamlessly as possible, especially way finding and integration of transport and commercial precincts.

Connecting services is also critical – bus services meet train services etc. The move to turn up and go on high volume routes is also important to reduce the reliance on timetables.

Providing intermodal journey information is becoming easier with smartphone apps, especially when real time service information is embedded.

Electronic ticketing and a consistent pricing policy enables seamless transition across modes.

Active transport modes, such as walking and cycling are very cost effective alternatives for shorter journeys and need to be a key part of the strategy.

To be a truly integrated transport system requires a regular review of the existing and proposed transport infrastructure and services – not just the incremental additions.

[1] Booz & Co (2012) Integrating Australia’s Transport Systems: a strategy for an efficient transport future, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, available from:

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