traintaxi™ is a practical tool to help both business and leisure travellers take the train instead of the car, by overcoming one of the main obstacles: information about how to bridge "those final few miles"...
Travellers now have good access to train timetable information. National Rail Enquiries (NRE) is highly effective, as are the various on-line timetables. Indeed, despite the number of train operating companies, both the quality and the consistency of timetable information available to the general public are better than they ever were under British Rail.
But the difficulty for travellers often remains in bridging "those final few miles" to their destination. It is usually unrealistic to expect business people to travel the final leg on local buses, although many are happy to take a taxi to the front door.
So where's the problem?
At the bigger stations, none. If you took the train to Norwich, you could be pretty confident of finding a taxi rank in front of the station. But at Felixstowe? Without local knowledge, it would be guesswork. And what about Gunton? Probably no taxi rank to be found at such a small place. How could you arrange for a taxi to meet you? With such difficulty that many people simply wouldn't bother and would drive there instead.
Telephone and website services can provide torrents of (unvalidated) data, but are neither comprehensive nor selective. With 28% of station names not directly reflecting place names, that's hardly a surprise. Moreover, a significant proportion of cab operators only provide specialist services, such as airport runs and school transport.
We have created traintaxi™ - a database that:
- lists all the train, metro, tram and underground stations in Britain
- shows whether each station has a taxi rank or cab office
- lists up to three local taxi or cab firms that we consider the most suitable to serve each station
- indicates all those that are believed to offer wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
Compiling, maintaining and validating our database remains a complex task, integrating information from 23 different sources. Since it meets several public policy objectives, it enjoys the DfT's support as part of its Transport Direct vision. The project was supported financially for its pilot under a Rail Passenger Partnership (RPP) Scheme funded jointly by the then Strategic Rail Authority and the National Express Group plc. However, it is now supported exclusively through commercial licensing agreements.
For those creating and providing public transport information systems, traintaxi™ offers valuable new information suitable for integration into such systems...
Our public traintaxi™ website only covers train, metro, tram and underground stations. But there's much more. Our full dataset maps to every transport node in Britain, including bus stations, coach stations, ferry ports, airports and every active bus and coach stop. It also maps to every locality in the National Public Transport Gazetteer. If you'd like to discuss licensing all or a subset of our data, please get in touch.