Road Network Operations
& Intelligent Transport Systems
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Mode Transfer Incentives

The purpose of mode transfer is to create conditions that foster greater use of public transport (modal shift) to counter increased traffic volumes and congestion during rush hours, or following a major capacity reduction over an extended period (with risk of major daily traffic jams over several months). Both situations can lead to an acute drop in road network service levels due to a lack of roadway capacity.

The measure is attractive:

  • during extensive long-term roadworks (lasting at least one week)
  • during a major national or international sporting event
  • when use of the road will be limited because of maintenance renewal or some other serious reason (recurring hazard, ongoing pollution)

Mode transfer incentives can also be used in response to other situations such as poor air quality and a forcast increase in air pollution.

The objective is to promote greater use of public transport in order to reduce the number of vehicles on the road. A common approach is the use of information to the user in real-time on public transport services and on the existence of multi-modal journey transfer points, such as "park-and-ride". (See Transportation Demand Management) This is done through journey planning websites, and in real-time with VMS or in-vehicle information devices (conventional broadcasting, RDS-TMC, route guidance systems). (See  En-Route Information)

The anticipated problems (for example daily traffic jams, or lengthy delays) must be well-publicised in advance or braodcast in real-time through travel aid and user information measures  (VMS or in-vehicle equipment, smart-phone text messages and social media).

Car pooling or use of public transportation can be encouraged by upgrading the service frequency and capacity, especially during rush hours.

This measure requires preparation involving all partners starting several months before the planned disruptions are scheduled. (See Traffic Management Plans) It is implemented in the following stages:

  • a preliminary study of expected traffic volumes and the probable level of disruption
  • confirmation that a public transport service exists that can be adapted to the nature of the problem
  • confirmation of the existence of sufficient parking spaces around the transit terminals (or car pool pick-up points)
  • preparation and implementation of information initiatives (at least one month before the start of traffic restrictions) and strategies for daily capacity problems
  • traffic monitoring from the start of the operation (See  Vehicles & Roadways)

Publicity need to convincing and persuasive enough to overcome reluctance and rigidity in the response of road users. Success also depends on:

  • accuracy of prediction of traffic problems
  • reliability of information released to the public
  • accessibility and efficiency of the public transport service

Different strategies are needed to achieve a mode transfer for freight. Integrating actions on freight management. This may be seen as a long-term measure within the road network operations strategy. particularly when the aim is to shift goods off the road amd onto other modes. (See Users and the Delivery Process)

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