“If railways are to be relevant for the future, they must adapt and compete with the alternatives – from remote working to car travel. They need to offer a better customer proposition, removing the friction and stress from rail travel. They need to create the Smart Passenger.”
That is the message from research from the Business Transformations Research Centre at Manchester Metropolitan University on behalf of RASIC Ltd, an ideas production house which seeks to improve the rail and mobility travel experience.
The research centre was commissioned by RASIC to examine the door-to-door rail journey and where the points of friction and stress in its planning and completion are, how and when key information can shape passengers’ decision, and what the consequences are of those decisions for rail operators and for the other transport networks.
As part of the study the team examined different scenarios around the door-to-door rail journey, mapping the passenger’s decision-making process at each stage, along with the consequences of those decisions for the transport networks.
Concluding the study, the report said: “These findings are likely to support what is widely known across the sector. However, it is worth noting those points where this information is operationally useful, just as it may be interesting to see how the pandemic influenced passengers’ decisions.
“This highlights the importance of the timely flow of relevant travel information and opens debate on the role technology can play through the digital personalisation of transportation information. Giving passengers what they want – removing the friction and achieving the Williams-Shapps objectives – means rethinking how information is provided.
“To create the Smart Passenger, rail data systems cannot be operationally centric: they must place passengers at the centre of the information.”
This project was led by David Bamford, Professor in Operations Management at the Business Transformations research centre, together with Dr Iain Reid, Reader in Operations Management, Dr Amin Vafadarnikjoo, Research Associate and Ben Cowcill, Enterprise Delivery Fellow for Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis – on behalf of Mr Marcus Mayers, Managing Director, RASIC Ltd.
Visit https://www.rasic.co.uk/ for more details about RASIC.
Photo credit: RASIC