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EU Position

How the RIDE2RAIL project teamed up public transport and ride-sharing to better serve passengers

  • Car-sharing
  • Journey planner
  • MaaS

RIDE2RAIL launched in 2020 under the helm of UITP

How can we best combine public transport with ride-sharing to reduce private car ownership and make efficient use of vehicles’ capacity? Over the last three years, this has been the central question of RIDE2RAIL, the EU project aiming to create solutions enabling passengers to easier combine the train, tram or bus, with shared mobility modes.

On 27 April 2023, the project held its Final Event in Brussels, joined by UITP, Europe’s Rail, Thales, Fit Consulting, CERTH, and many others.

Ride-sharing, if properly implemented, has the potential to reduce the number of cars on the road. Especially in rural areas, where commuting distances are higher and public transport cannot always operate efficiently, ride-sharing can be seen as a solution to fight private car ownership and reduce single-car occupancy rates.

Gathering 17 partners from 10 Countries, RIDE2RAIL sought to create solutions and tools that enable people to compare and choose between multiple transport options and services based on travel time, comfort, cost and environmental impact.

While mass public transport is the backbone of mobility systems in our cities, combined mobility is an unmissable tool in providing the flexibility people are looking for in public transport. The RIDE2RAIL project capatalised on this complementarity between the different modes of transport and provided an even more accessible and flexible mobility from door to door.
Giuseppe Rizzi
Project Manager (UITP) & RIDE2RAIL Project Coordinator

Enhancing & developing new multimodality tools

RIDE2RAIL integrated multiple (public/private/social) data sets and existing transport platforms to make ride-sharing a complementary transport mode that extends public transport and rail networks, becoming a feeder for public transport in particular in low demand areas.

One of the objectives was to further enhance the Travel Companion, a travel application developed by the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking under its IP4 programme (Innovation Programme 4, a framework addressing and designing IT solutions for attractive railway service). These new functionalities as developed by RIDE2RAIL are:

  • Offer Categoriser: to ‘score’ the proposed travels/journeys on different categories such as speed, reliability, pricing, making it easier for passengers to make a choice.
  • Offer Matcher & Ranker + Incentive Provider: through a machine learning mechanism, this functionality learns the passengers’ travel preferences (in terms of number of changes, overall travel time, etc.) and ranks trips accordingly when searching for a travel solution on the Travel Companion.
  • Crowd based Travel Service Provider: a system that publishes available shared rides, and that allows a driver to make visible on the Travel Companion the available seats in his/her car
  • Driver Companion: One major project result has been the development of the Driver Companion, an application enabling car drivers to share their rides with other passengers.
  • Agreement Ledger: supports the secure storing of travel related records using blockchain to ensure transparency and trust of operations

RIDE2RAIL solutions were tested in four cities in Europe: Padua, Brno, Athens, and Helsinki – stay tuned for the RIDE2RAIL Project Brief exploring all demo results!

Since 2015, Shift2Rail, now Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking, has been co-funding research and innovation activities that aim at improving, with the use of Information Technology, the services that are provided to passengers in door-to-door, intermodal journeys. With its piloting activities across EU, Ride2Rail is providing valuable insights on the real-life use and market potential of the solutions developed within Innovation Programme 4 of Shift2Rail.
Gorazd Marinic
Programme Manager, Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking

UITP’s new policy brief “Mobility hubs: Steering the shift towards integrated sustainable mobility“, focuses highlights the benefits of an integrated multimodal mobility system, specifically exploring the variety of mobility hubs and the benefits of organising coherent networks of hubs. 


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