Commuter rail is an important passenger transport mode, connecting suburbs to our major cities. It transports millions of passengers to support their everyday activities and enables international travellers to make their way in and out of city centres. Governments around the world are keen to fund expansions and modernisations of their commuter railroads. This need for investment has come at a time when infrastructure costs have never been higher, and technological advancements are quickening at an exponential rate. The challenge for commuter rail is how to handle the changing mobility landscape (other modes of transport), while still providing a safe and reliable service.
In the future, all modes of transit will work to feed and complement one another in an integrated way for seamless trips for riders, with little to no hassle on transfers. And as these modes start to blend, it will allow for hybrid models to weave into the fabric of transit.
Imagine if you didn’t have to plan your trip to and from the city-centre around a timetable. A future where your commuter railroad ran on very short headways with no schedule – your riders could simply show up and know a train will arrive in 15 minutes or less. The goals and objectives of our commuter railroads should revolve around (both for society and the passenger) no stress, productivity and not wasting hours within a personal vehicle (time to work, rest, read the newspaper), and the environmental and economic benefits.
With many countries committing to 2050 net-zero carbon emissions targets, industries are investigating how to minimise their carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) emissions to help meet this ambitious goal.