How can we reduce transport emissions for a greener future?

It's the short everyday journeys that make the biggest difference. So, how can we make positive changes to reduce our own carbon footprint? And how can we make alternative transport options more accessible and easier to navigate?

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October 19, 2021

Did you know...

If everyone swapped just one car journey per-month and travelled by train, bike or bus instead, there would be a billion fewer car journeys in the UK annually. Not only that, but we'd also reduce the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions by two million tonnes per-year!

Globally, transport accounts for approximately 25% of all CO2 emissions, and much of the world’s transport networks still remain focused around road vehicles – which account for 75% of the greenhouse gas emissions that come from transport.

Private transport – such as solo car journeys – are one of the biggest contributors to global greenhouse gases. With transport emissions rising every year, more people are looking to make greener choices on how they get from A to B. So, in a world full of car dominated cities and towns, how can we cut down the carbon footprint through alternative transport choices?

For the majority of people, the work commute or the school run is the most common journey. And it’s often not possible to simply jump on a nearby bus or train. But ultimately, it’s the short everyday journeys that make the biggest difference.  

So, how can we make positive changes to reduce our own carbon footprint? And how can we make alternative transport options more accessible and easier to navigate?  

Making travel information more reliable

There's a common misconception that train travel isn't very reliable; but that isn't the case. In fact, 78% of trains arrive within one minute of their expected arrival time, 92.1% arrive within three minutes and 99.2% within 15 minutes.

The main problem is the lack of real-time travel information. People have to check a train is running in advance, or they only find out about delays and disruption when they get to the station. What's needed to rectify this is proactive push messaging that already has a solution to keep them moving. Luckily, developments and services to improve and revolutionise rail alerts are on the rise.  

Enhanced journey planners are more accessible than ever before, with real-time alerts and live tracking information available at the touch of a button. Social media has also been a big driver of train travel information, with 24/7 customer service platforms on hand and departure boards being updated more frequently online than they have been previously.

But to make public transport a frontrunner against the privacy and convenience of car travel, people need more than just a journey planner. They need personalised updates, useful data that works to improve their journey, door-to-door route options that go beyond the train platform and real incentives that actively encourage them to return to rail time and time again.

At Zipabout, we aim to provide all this and more. Because we know there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to public transport; and the shared goal of reducing carbon emissions can only happen if alternative transport options work for everyone.

Offering passenger incentives

In a recent Think Tank discussion with The Centre for Policy Studies, Katy Taylor – an advisor to Zipabout – said: “There are a huge number of single journeys that people do with just one person in a car. So, the reality is, there’s a huge opportunity to move people to public transport and get more people to take trains which we know will massively reduce carbon emissions.  

“I think we can help people make more informed decisions about what transport they take and provide more incentives.”

We believe that one of the most effective ways to encourage people to use public transport is through motivation. This is highlighted in our Loyalty and Rewards feature, which is being used by transport operators to improve customer experience and drive growth. By connecting them with brands and retailers, we’re empowering them to reward and incentivise more sustainable travel.

Using tech to keep people moving

With us, it’s all about the finer details. We offer features such as live routing around delayed services, weather-dependant routes (so you can avoid a sudden downpour or plan your journey around a much-needed walk in the sunshine), accessibility information, crowding and busyness data and loyalty rewards. We even include toilet and parking information so that every stage of your journey is covered.

And the best bit? You don’t even need to download an app to use it. Our personalised messaging service is immediately available to everyone on Messenger and WhatsApp, providing people with the simple tools to do it all – watch regular commutes or one-off journeys, quickly check how the usual routes are running at any time and offer alternative options should anything change.

Making journeys personal

What is lacking in public transport that people have with their own private cars is flexibility. After all, the freedom of being able to travel at any given time and in total peace and quiet is hard for trains and buses to compete with!

That’s why we offer real personalisation, with tailored transport options and incentives based on how you like to travel. With something like this at every commuter’s fingertips, choosing the greener transport route is made easy.

Our technology allows people to make different choices on how they travel based on unique criteria – from which stations are busy and what facilities are available to how crowded a train is and where the nearest bus stop or bike hire location is at the other end.

Providing more accessibility for rural passengers

Regardless of where you live – whether it’s a small village in the middle of nowhere or a busy city centre – public transport should be easily accessible and available to all.

Unfortunately, many people in rural areas are left with no option but to drive due to the lack of public transport services and information. But we’ve introduced a First & Last Mile feature that works to improve these issues.

With it, you’ll have your very own travel companion that will take you to your final destination. And by that, we mean your real final destination – and not just when your train arrives or your bus stops.

But what makes it so smart? Asides from knowing where the nearest bus, scooter, bike or taxi is in your exact location, we also know if you're in a hurry or if the weather is against you – based on your everyday travel habits and preferences. And the best part is, we can do all of it without tracking your personal details, location or data!

Making small changes around how we travel is key to reducing CO2 emissions. Even if you trade your usual car commute for a train journey one day per-week, you’re making bigger strides than yesterday. And if we all do it, we’re much closer to a more sustainable future.