Ground transportation provides new opportunities through the sharing economy

During the last years, sharing economy generated important revolutions in several sectors of the Travel & Tourism industry. For instance, as reported by Certify, which provides to companies a report service of their travel expenses, in 2016 ridesharing receipts exceeded traditional ground transportation, such as taxi and rental car companies, for the first time. As reported by Deloitte in its “2017 Travel and Hospitality Industry Outlook”, industries that operate in ride sharing are constantly competing and facing several challenges deriving, for example, from the politic scenario which is different from Country to Country, but also from other social issues, such as safety and security. We have already observed how sharing economy in ground transportation is also influencing the bus sector, with companies as FlixbusBusforfun and GoGoBus, and has allowed the development of an OTAs system which are specific for this sector, such as Busbud and Checkmybus.

Beyond ground transportation, also the train sector is growing fast. New platforms have been developed, which now intermediates travels, in a spirit of simplicity and of the customer experience. An example is given by Trainline, which allows the user to choose the best offer for a travel among several train companies. Also in this case, the keyword is the customer experience. On this point, Trainline introduced an interesting innovation which, through an app, lets the users know real time the platform from which their train will leave, in order to provide them information the whole time. Recently, Trainline integrated its supply with Belgian BeNe Rail, reaching 225 million potential customers and linking about 24.000 train station located in 24 European Countries.
According to company’s evaluations, in 2016 in Italy the number of users grew by 490% yoy. In particular, 57% of users access the platform via desktop, 43% via mobile. The top-selling route is Milan-Rome, which was mostly purchased by business travellers who are less than 40 yo.

A business model which is performing well is GoEuro, a metasearch that allows users to choose among different means of transport (namely buses, trains and airplanes) for a certain route, comparing their convenience and how fast they are.

At Twissen we observed that ground transportation (trains, buses and cars) is constantly developing innovations and business solutions which used to be prerogative of other sectors. Customer experience is the fundamental component that characterises and qualifies both services and platform which intermediate sales, as they are becoming more and more aware of the central role of tourism consumers.