Integrated Travel Options

Travel involves many modes of transport. While you may use airlines to go from your city to another – but then to reach the airport and from the airport you need either a tax, or a bus or a metro train or may be any other mode of local transportation. Put together all modes of transport available provide innumerable combinations from which we can choose. Often the criteria to choose involve the time available to us or the cost involved.

A recently launched website in Europe called GoEuro.com attempts to provide an integrated view of multiple modes of transport available. As of now it is available for three countries UK, Germany and Spain. Since its launch in late May 2013, this Berlin-based company has offered a simple and complete overview of train, bus, and plane connections. Users can easily compare and combine all travel options, finding the fastest and cheapest connections. Travellers can search to and from any location in Europe, including small towns and villages, eliminating the need to visit numerous websites to piece together an entire journey. To add to the tool’s capabilities, all air searches automatically display transportation costs to and from the airport, as well as check-in and waiting times, enabling easy comparison with train and bus alternatives.

Key innovation of GoEuro is that multiple modes of travel are searched, compared, combined, and displayed to the user, taking into account the whole journey and also making searches to and from smaller places, villages and sites of interest (Stonehenge for example) possible. In the CEO Naren Shaam’s words, “there are significant complexities involved in building a search platform from the ground up, which seamlessly integrates massive amounts of data from every airline, rail and bus operator and car rental firm across Europe.” It already features 150 airports, 12,900 rail, and 8,500 bus stations, and serving almost 23,000 unique locations in the UK, Spain and Germany. The company has signed a number of high-profile and mutually successful agreements with partners such as National Express in the UK and Renfe in Spain.  GoEuro’s business model is simple. It does not charge its users to use the search tool, and the prices found on the site reflect the price on the partners’ (transport providers’) websites. Whenever a purchase is made from GoEuro traffic, the providers are sent cookies. In return, they give GoEuro cake. In different terms, GoEuro earns a commission based on the purchase.

In India MakeMyTrip has a similar offering by the name Route Planner. Read more about it in the book The Mouse Charmers

Anuradha Goyal