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Efficient public transport is no longer a choice but an imperative for modern cities striving to address challenges like traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and other negative externalities. Integrated services offer seamless travel and smooth operations. When cities are planned as transit-oriented and inclusive, accessibility is greatly enhanced. Digital technologies can also further enhance the operational efficiency of urban public transport systems.

However, many Asian cities operate a combination of different public transport systems without due consideration to interoperability or connectivity between modes. Due to the multiplicity of agencies with functional overlaps, urban and transport planning processes are pursued in an unintegrated manner, leading to misalignments of travel demand and public transport infrastructure and operations. Furthermore, there is wide variation in the utilisation of intelligent transport technology among Asian countries and cities. A lack of awareness among policymakers and limited institutional capacities limit the wider application of digital technologies in urban transport.

Many cities are planning to expand their public transport systems through network expansions and introducing a new high-demand public transport mode. The transition to green mobility is also taking place at a rapid pace. Given these opportunities, cities should integrate their public transport systems to provide seamless travel for customers as an alternative to private modes. Policymakers, municipal officials, and transport operators must work together to plan and operate these public transport systems. While integrated public transport systems are a critical part of any strategy to improve urban mobility, there is no single model of an integrated public transport system. This Guidebook discusses the different approaches which policymakers and transport operators can choose from to achieve integrated public transport systems.