29 June 2021 at 13:00 (GMT) Download PDF

Trainline announces new offering as research suggests three in five business travellers turning to rail when restrictions ease. TPS includes a customised white-labelled desktop and mobile sales platform for rail carriers

LONDON, 29 JUNE 2021 - Following the launch of Trainline Partner Solutions (TPS), Trainline plc, the leading independent rail and coach travel platform selling tickets to millions of customers worldwide, today launches new research into UK business travel.

The research finds demand for business travel via rail is set to surge, with three in five (59%) of business travellers more likely to consider rail compared to before the pandemic.  The study of 1,000 regular business travellers showed that one in five (20%) travellers are more likely to now pick rail to reduce their carbon footprint. Other reasons include reaching destinations quicker (29%), being able to work productively while travelling (26%) and the convenience of taking a train direct into a city centre (25%).

The research indicates that when journey times are similar, 90% of UK employees who travel for work would prefer to take the train over flying or driving. The biggest factors that put business travellers off flying are concerns over Covid health and safety (41%), the wasted time in an airport (31%) and the environmental impact (27%). 

When told that a train journey generates approximately 5% of the CO2 emissions compared with car travel per passenger, 25% of respondents said the realisation puts them off driving for business travel. In fact, 92% of employees who travel for work could be encouraged to ditch their car entirely for future business travel. According to the data, the remaining factors that would encourage less driving for business travel include faster rail options (34%), rising petrol costs (24%) and more luxurious train services (23%).

The data shows 59% of employees who travel for work revealed they would avoid driving and even short-haul flights to Europe even when Covid-19 restrictions ease if the journey times were similar. In fact, 81% of travellers would support a ban on short business flights where a train journey is available, similar to the recently approved policy in France.

As the only partner to combine over 20 years’ rail industry experience with deep rail tech expertise, TPS provides carriers with a high-quality, fast and secure tech platform for retailing and ticketing to some of the biggest UK rail carriers.

The proprietary technology builds, supports and manages customised white-labelled desktop and mobile sales platforms to provide a seamless retail experience that encourages more ticket sales. The best-in-class product also gives carriers a cost-to-serve advantage compared to developing a ticket sales solution from scratch. In addition, the back-office system helps rail carriers remain up-to-speed with industry integrations and accreditations.

As part of rail’s recovery, it’s vital sellers are able to encourage train journeys. The world’s biggest travel sellers and enterprise clients, use TPS’ software to give travellers easy access to routes, fares and journey times from carriers in multiple markets via one standardised API connection.

When business travel returns, it will not look the same as before the pandemic. One clear long-term trend is employees planning to reduce the impact their travel has on carbon emissions and reduce road travel and short haul flights. Given rail generates less than 5% of the CO2 emissions of air travel and approximately 15% when compared to car travel per passenger, rail is the clear alternative.

As an industry, we must be prepared to capitalise on the opportunity ahead by ensuring travellers have easy access to rail options. This means living up to consumer’s expectations for a simple, seamless and faultless digital experience, and the private sector will play an essential role innovating in IT, data and modern payments.

Combining over twenty years’ rail industry experience with deep rail tech expertise, our offer will provide customised solutions to help carriers meet current and developing expectations of rail travel at a lower cost. Our mission is to simplify rail travel to help more people make greener travel choices.

Champa Magesh
President of Trainline Partner Solutions