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High Efficient and Reliable arrangeMEnts for croSs-modal transport

State of the Art - Background

In the past, intermodality has mainly been understood as related to the transfer of passengers between vehicles. Efforts have been undertaken in order to develop an intermodal infrastructure like railway stations at airports and transfer points with optimised transfer ways but a fully integrated infrastructure has been an exception so far. The German AIRail (LH, DB, Fraport) system or the French Thalys-Air France co-operation show that integrated services are generally manageable.

On the demand side it is still unclear what level of intermodality has been achieved. No proper measurement of intermodal behaviour and no integrated statistical demand database exist, which could identify intermodal trips on a European level. This is mainly the outcome of the usually applied -modal view-: transport statistics or surveys focus chiefly on single modes and do not consider the underlying journeys that are often a combination of an access mode, one or more long-distance modes and an egress mode. Thus, it must be stated that the users' requirements in terms of intermodality have not so far been fully identified. Even the integrated concept of level of service is not fully matured and its implementation is hardly found.


HERMES will be explicitly focused on enhancing cross-modal transport arrangements aiming at exploring and thus developing prototypes of new business models for interconnectivity. Therefore, this project will analyse the existing connections and will further evaluate the level of interconnectivity in the passenger terminals where short and long-distance transport networks cross and where fluidity between crossing networks should ensure the maintenance of the level of service when the passenger is transferred from one to the other. Prototypes of business models are examples that represent core aspects of a business, including purpose, offerings, strategies, infrastructure, organisational structures, trading practices, and operational processes and policies. The conceptual Figure 1 below represents the building blocks of a business model, and provides an illustration of the concept and how it should be structured.

The objective of HERMES is 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 aim of HERMES is to develop prototypes (i.e. examples) of suitable business models for intermodal or interconnecting services that will contribute to build sustainable mobility solutions.

Description of Work

HERMES will consist of seven work packages, each of which disaggregates in several specialised tasks. There will also be two entire work packages indicated as 'WP0.x' explicitly dedicated to management and coordination of the project, as well as dissemination and exploitation of the results obtained. Also, within the scope of WP0.1, the overall articulation between the project leader, the European Commission, project consortium members, members of the advisory board and stakeholders will be fulfilled. Thus, the HERMES work packages can be briefly specified as follows:

WP0.1 Overall management and quality control

WP0.2 Dissemination and relation with stakeholders

WP1 State of the art on cross-modal transport arrangements

WP2 Cross-modal transport prototypes

WP3 Regulatory and legal requirements

WP4 Interoperability barriers

WP5 Case studies (validation of prototypes)

WP6 Good practices on cross-modal transport arrangements

Expected Results

The impact of HERMES is very high on achieving fluid mobility chains with a clear contribution to the quality perception of passengers.

The analyses will embrace:

- interfaces and interconnections between different modes, such as long-distance rail/ urban transport or air/rail;

- interfaces and interconnections between different types of services of the same mode, such as long-distance rail services/regional rail services or urban bus/express coach;

- interfaces and interconnections between high capacity mode and low capacity, such as long-distance rail or coach/taxis, etc.

A major impact will be the preparation of a final handbook with good practices that will enable the concrete dissemination of new knowledge achieved through the development of case studies. Impact on industry and society at large is ensured through the participation and support of industry members in the case studies and also on the advisory board.