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One method for lowering the number of flights, but still maintaining international travel, is to replace some short-distance flights with alternate and often more sustainable modes of transportation. According to the EU Commission,  “…airports, ports, railway, metro and bus stations, should increasingly be linked and transformed into multimodal connection platforms for passengers” (European Commission, 2011, p.6). When airports focus on embracing alternative modes of transportation, they will be able to evolve into a multimodal transport hub, which is designed to combine the services of multiple modes of transportation given to passengers at specially designated sites (Anderson et al., 2017).

At Schiphol Airport the train is beneath the terminals and the bus stops are also close to the terminals. This gives them a big opportunity to become a Multi-modal Transport Hub (MTH). But, concerning service integration (e.g., ticketing, reservation, information and planning), the Airport hub only focuses on linking one dominant mode, the airplanes (Toet et al., 2022). To create an effective multimodal integration, service components must be combined (Veeneman et al., 2020). While looking at this multimodal integration it is important to comprehend how passengers view this integration (Li & Loo, 2016). This is due to the fact that the focus of mobility will shift from travel modes to user-experience and the services that deliver them (Toet et al., 2022). Right now, there is various user-centric research on urban multimodal transport hubs (Chaniotakis et al., 2022; Loo et al., 2020; Loo & Li, 2016); however, there is very little research which focusses on the integration of long-distance travels.

Right now, little is known what factors are of influence during the transfer between such modes of transportation. As a result, it is interesting for airports to explore critical factors at other airports that influence the transfer.

The lack of knowledge about the critical integration factors of a transfer between a long-haul flight and an alternative travel mode is defined as the knowledge gap of this research. Consequently, airports can learn how they can successfully integrate alternative travel modes to facilitate passenger-oriented transfers.

Graduation project
Strategic Product Design


Project team

Ece Rousian MSc
Dr. ir. Suzanne Hiemstra-van Mastrigt and Aniek Toet MSc
Royal Schiphol Group