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Understanding passengers’ needs is key to recovery

The rail industry needs to understand how it can support passengers as travel habits change following the pandemic, the Chief Operating Officer of Trainline claimed on February 23.

Speaking at the National Rail Recovery Conference, organised by RAIL, Jody Ford told delegates: “There is significant overlap between leisure and commuter travel, but their behaviour last summer was very different.”

Ford, who was due to take over his new role as CEO after the NRRC, said that competition for new commuters will result from more choices than just the car, citing Zoom as one example.

“That’s ultimately the result of new, normalised working from home. There is the benefit of office working against the friction of travel. We need to, as an industry, rapidly evolve our rail offering for commuters,” he said.

He said he found that 66% of all train journeys terminate outside London and the South East, adding: “We have a shared agenda, we have a shared goal, shared across the regions, and that is to get UK rail to bounce back to where it was before - and in the process, accelerate modal shift from road and air to rail.”

  • Full coverage of the National Rail Recovery Conference will appear in RAIL 926, on sale digitally March 6 and in print on March 10. You can still register to watch any of the NRRC sessions on-demand within the next three months, by going to www.nationalrailconference.com 

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