Main Passenger Modal Options
To support their mobility passengers have several modal options depending on the type of movement (e.g. commuting, traveling), the concerned distance and modal availability. They fall into four general categories:
  • Air. Air transport services usually comes as scheduled services offered by various competing air carriers, each within their respective networks. Based upon scheduled services posted several months in advance, a traveler (or someone acting on his/her behalf) will be able to book an itinerary that may include several flight segments. Charter air services are usually offered under specific circumstances such as seasonal flights towards resort areas or private jets servicing the mobility needs of a corporation or an individual. They tend to be point to point services.
  • Road. Offers a range of motorized and non-motorized options for short distance movements that a user may opt for depending on affordability, convenience, availability and comfort. The automobile has emerged as a preferred form of passenger transportation as it offers flexibility and convenience, but also contributes to the dominant share of the congestion of roads, particularly in urban areas.
  • Rail. The standard intercity passenger services that have been active in many parts of the world for a century and a half are being expanded by the setting of high speed rail (HSR) services between high density city-pairs. Another salient form of rail services concern urban transit systems that rely on specific applications of rail technology. Subway systems are those supporting the densest forms of mobility in large metropolitan areas. Such systems are usually supported by commuter rail linking a central station to a network of satellite cities. Light rail transit (LRT) systems are also set in lower density situations.
  • Maritime. The role of maritime transportation to move passengers has substantially declined but remains important for ferry services. The cruise ship is not used as a form of transportation but as a touristic option between a network of ports of call.