IntroductionSeamless travel is an important characteristic of urban transport system. Transfer is an essential part of multi– modal trip and traveler has to change modes at transfer nodes. Multi–modal Transport System (MMTS) is an integrated approach to incorporate all components of urban transport into a single coordinated, planning and operation system for efficient use of available transport resources and infrastructure to ensure better urban mobility within a wide range of modal options for the commuters. In fact, multi–modal transport system relates to single trip consisting of combination of modes i.e. vehicle modes (bus, metro, car, tram, etc.) or service modes (private/public) between which the traveler has to make a transfer. Multi–modal transport system has two basic components:
- Integration and
Concept of InterchangeInterchange and seamless travel are now significant components of an integrated transport strategy. Interchange is an important key element in modern transport network and also a part of infrastructure which involves multi-modal activities. An interchange is thus one of the starting points of any public transportation ride and the first point of interaction the user has with the available public transportation service.
Guidelines for Interchange DesignInterchange is defined as people place, place of waiting and place of movement (access to access, change mode and direction). Interchange should be viewed not only as a form of movement infrastructure but as 'seeds' for the emergence of intensive, vibrant, urban nodes and as important elements of place making (Naude, S. et al. 2005).
The concept of interchange within the existing transport situation is to integrate the mechanical modes (either private or public) most suited for each stage to obtain overall a more efficient transport system. An unfortunate feature of the resulting interchange process, however, is the inconvenience and time spent transferring from one mechanical mode to the next. This is the penalty of transfer and it must be kept as low as possible for successful interchange (Bell, C. Margaret 1981). The general guidelines for interchange design are as follows:
- Need assessment of interchange in transport network to fulfill its functions as per travel demand and mobility in different directions and areas.
- Location of interchange on existing line hauls where there is efficient access to existing transport network. However, it may be located in places of high accessibility.
- Location of interchange be associated with public space
- Improvement of existing roads / construction of new roads
- Access modes in order of priority i.e. walk, bicycles, feeder services, intermediate Para transit, etc
- Size of interchange to meet expected peak demand
- Interchange facilities and services
- Perceptions and attitude towards interchange
- Public awareness to encourage people for using of interchange
- Minimum distance between bus stop/terminal and interchange station
- Provision of automatic services at interchange station
- Layout for seamless transfer with comfort, security and commuter's safety
Design Philosophy: Learning Experience
It is one of the best examples of Rail-Air Interchange Station which has various provisions to make travel more comfortable, efficient and seamless. Fig. 5 illustrates various components such as :
- Ticket sales desks for railway passengers
- The platforms are directly below the concourse, and these are the ways down to them
- There are several sets of lifts which link the concourse with the platforms. It is not just for special needs passengers but also to allow passengers with luggage on trolleys to gain access to the platforms. The lift has see-through walls. The visibility increases personal safety for lift users and deters those who might commit a crime if the lift had opaque walls.
- Right next door are the airport check-in and arrivals lounges. The view shows terminals one and two.
Fig 7 A illustrates upper level of Amsterdam Duivendrecht Interchange Station.
Fig 7 B illustrates lower level of Amsterdam Duivendrecht Interchange Station. It has platforms for trains on different routes. The concourse is provided between these platforms which have lifts, steps, etc to connect upper platforms.
Concluding RemarksInterchange design for seamless travel is much influenced by flow of commuters and traffic which further attract or repel other activities at both station and surrounding areas. Individual interchange includes volume, mix & type of passengers using the same, its hours of operation, character of surrounding and connecting areas, length of walkways, informal space, personal security, incompatibility of tickets, etc. In this context, good design is an essential ingredient to motivate passengers to find travel by public transport convenient, safe & enjoyable and hence architecture and interior design should always give priority to passenger needs.
An interchange design may provide clear routes between services or modes to minimize the time and efforts involved in making transfer. Route connecting the stations where passengers have to board and alight from public transports should be clearly and consistently identified. It helps to take decision regarding routes, direction of movement, guidance and reassurance for seamless travel. The use of visual aids, architectural treatments on the floors, walls, finishes, etc can provide better "way finding information". However, interchange design may take care of accessibility requirements of impaired passengers for seamless travel.
- Bell, C. Margaret (1981), Passenger Transport Interchange: Car, Bus and Train in Traffic, Transportation and Urban Planning, International Forum Series Vol. II, George God Win Ltd., London.
- Iles, Richard (2005), Public Transport in Developing Countries, Elsevier, Amsterdam.
- Kumar, Pawan; Kulkarni, S.Y. and M. Parida (2009),Multi Modal Transport System in Urban India, Proceedings of National Conference on " Developing Harmonious & Sustainable Cities in India for a Better Urban Future" March 20-21, 2009, New Delhi, India.
- Naude, S., Jones, J. et al. (2005), Design Guidelines for Public Transport Facilities, HHO Africa Infrastructure Engineers, Roggebaai.