Definition – Multimodality (not to be confused with intermodality) refers to the selection of alternative transport modes for different trips over a certain period of time (e.g. a day or week). For instance, a person may cycle to work, walk to the shops and use public transport to visit friends. Multimodality (and also intermodality) requires integration of infrastructure and transport services across modes in both passenger and freight transport.
Multimodal Apps – The term multimodal is also used in the context of websites and mobile apps that provide a single source of information on several modes of transport. These may provide a comparison of the speed and cost of a single trip using one mode of transport mode or an intermodal trip that uses several modes.
Multimodal (freight and logistics) – In the context of freight and logistics, the term multimodal (or multi-modal) is often used to refer to situations where goods are transferred using several modes (e.g. ship, plane and lorry etc.). This is the equivalent of intermodality for passenger transport.
Relevance to SUMP – Multimodality is a key term in the SUMP context as it represents a modern intelligent approach to mobility, contrasting with the use of private motor vehicles for the majority of trips. A SUMP should foster multimodality by creating highly accessible, convenient, safe and fast connections for sustainable modes of transport.
Source: Oxford Dictionaries (online)