September 27, 2021

Trainline research shows business travel by rail to surge post-lockdown

Three in five business travellers turning to rail when restrictions ease, according to new research from Trainline Partner Solutions

New research from Trainline Partner Solutions (TPS) shows three in five (59%) of business travellers will be more likely to consider rail compared to before the pandemic with one in five (20%) doing so to reduce their carbon footprint. The study of 1,000 regular business travellers showed that reaching destinations quicker (29%), being able to work productively while travelling (26%) and the convenience of taking a train into the city centre (25%) were the top reasons to select trains.

The research indicates that when journey times are similar, 90% of UK employees that 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.

Champa Magesh, President of Trainline Partner Solutions, commented: 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.”

She continued: “With this expected surge in demand from new passengers, rail operators, travel sellers and businesses need to be prepared. To capitalise on the opportunity ahead, it’s critical business travellers have access to rail options. International rail is complex with content often needing to be sourced from multiple suppliers, all with different tech standards and specifications. Our mission is to simplify rail travel to help more businesses put it at the heart of employees’ journeys so they can make greener travel choices.”

Trainline Partner Solutions (TPS), which launched earlier this month, partners with the world’s biggest travel sellers and network of enterprises to make the complex world of business travel and ticket retailing simple, so more companies and their employees choose a greener way to travel.

Through the Global API, customers have access to hundreds of carriers across Europe. With all critical information in one place, such as ticketing options and real-time travel information, requiring only one integration makes decision making easier, more affordable and lower-risk for travel sellers to incorporate rail into their offer – and at the same time streamline their processes, unlock more content and increase their competitive advantage.

Some businesses are already putting policies in place to support employees when travel returns. Jo Gilroy, Group Head of Sustainability & Environment at Kier, said: “Working with Trainline Partner Solutions directly, we have an easy way to book rail. Their technology easily presents us with the best options for every journey and the data helps us manage spend, employee security and sustainability reporting.”