Integrated and Multimodal Transportation
Coordinating and using multiple modes of transportation is a good approach for some individuals and companies to reduce transportation costs, improve mobility, and improve energy efficiency. Between ridesharing, public transportation, and active transportation, many travelers have access to numerous alternative transportation options. Some transit agencies even offer mobile ticketing apps or pre-loaded transit cards that are interoperable with bike-sharing systems or other mobility services.
Cities and regions across the United States have developed a range of strategies and resources for helping travelers use multimodal transportation:
- Citymapper is an online tool and app that enables travelers to combine walking with bicycle (including bike share), bus, train, ferry, and transportation network companies to complete a desired trip. It also calculates how many calories your trip will burn. This app is now available in over 20 U.S. cities and many others worldwide.
- OpenTripPlanner is an online tool from TriMet that helps Portland, Oregon, travelers plan trips through a combination of transportation modes including transit (bus or train), walking, and bicycling.
- 511 is a one-stop source from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for commuters in the San Francisco Bay Area to access information about ridesharing, mass transit, bicycling, and traffic.
- getDowntown is a partnership in Ann Arbor, Michigan, that provides local businesses and employees with information and assistance with multimodal commuting.
- SmartTrips is a program from the Portland (Oregon) Bureau of Transportation that helps people plan the optimal mix of alternative transportation modes.
In addition to saving fuel and money, people who use alternative transportation may also enjoy incentives. Two examples are:
- Commuter Rewards – a program from the Clean Air Campaign at Georgia College rewards registered commuters with cash, gift cards, and other prizes.
- Commuter Gamification – a way to incentivize users by appealing to their competitive nature through gamification. The RideAmigos website offers many tips for how to create an alternative commuting game.
Park-and-ride lots are strategically located near roads widely used by commuters and are often near transit stations. These lots are convenient places to meet rideshare partners or switch transportation modes to public transportation. Transportation planners can help commuters take advantage of park-and-ride lots by making information easy to access online. For example, Denver’s Regional Transportation District website provides interactive maps of park-and-ride lots and a list of park-and-ride lots with information about fees, parking spaces, and transit connections. "Kiss-and-ride" lots and lanes facilitate the quick transfer to and from public transportation and a waiting vehicle.