Mobility centres

Multimodal mobility – which includes public transport, long-distance trains and buses, air transport, private motor vehicles, bicycles, and options such as bike sharing, taxis, car sharing, and ride sharing – means that (potential) users need access to ever greater amounts of information.

Increasingly, the aim is to combine forms of transport which previously operated independently to form a single (possibly intermodal) transport chain. Travellers must therefore be able to access comprehensive, intermodal information about all available means of transport so they can find the most effective solution for a specific journey.

For this reason, "mobility centres" have been established in many cities to offer transport and travel information that extends across regions and systemsmodes, timetables, prices, advantages and disadvantages – and even suggest individual or target-group-specific solutions to the travel requests of each customer or customer group.

The core services are largely related to public transport (e.g. information and booking for dial-a-ride services; information for persons with impaired mobility or about special services before, during or after travel; processing of suggestions and complaints).

For reasons of cost efficiency, it is advisable to partner with third parties to offer services such as event ticketing, providing information on leisure activities and tourism, hotel and room reservation services, travel agency services, travel insurance, and the selling of merchandise. Direct, face-to-face contact is optimal for efficient mobility advising, especially for attracting walk-in customers; service points should be located in public transport hubs or other heavily frequented central areas. Whenever possible, face-to-face and telephone services should be located in separate premises. Classic call centres – e.g. in a public transport company's main office or operations centre – usually cannot offer the same comprehensive range of services.

The preferred telecommunication technology includes – in addition to the usual ISDN and internet systems – call-centre technology featuring ACD (automatic call distribution) and CTI (computer telephone integration) as well as telephone numbers assigned to specific topics to guide information requests. Routing should also be possible. To fulfil its purpose, the mobility centre must also have access to the latest traffic information for the various control centres.

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