Rome2rio now includes indicative pricing for all transport components, door to door.
That means a trip that begins with a shuttle to the airport ($18), then a flight ($750 each way), trains to a regional city ($60) and finally a taxi to your hotel ($15) as the final destination, will be priced down to the final component. Here’s a screenshot from an example search result for downtown Melbourne to the Marlborough House Hotel at 321 Woodstock Road, Oxford, UK at a total cost of $843 each way:
Comparing Transport Options
Displayed pricing is indicative, and will not always be “spot on” to the nearest dollar. Internally, we’re aiming to be within 10% of the actual price but expect that over time we can improve on this number. Even without being exact, the value of indicative pricing is easily seen when the various trip options are displayed together. In this example search from London to Stuttgart, the user can quickly see that the train, which may be less stressful, is also a good deal more expensive than flying.
Door to Door Pricing
A key feature of the release is the ability to see all elements of the trip costed, including the final leg, which in many cases is the most problematic. In our final example from New York to Tokyo, Rome2rio recommends a rail journey from Narita airport to downtown Tokyo priced at an estimated 2400 yen (US $25). Rome2rio also displays the alternative option of a taxi to downtown Tokyo estimated at $250; ten times the cost of the train and an overall increase in the New York to Tokyo one-way cost from $673 to $900.
Under the hood
Developing estimated door-to-door pricing required the collection of pricing data from a wide variety of sources, combined with machine learning techniques to model each transport operator. Rome2rio now boasts the most comprehensive transport pricing database available anywhere online.
Last year we developed a machine learning approach for modelling the fares of 196 airlines based on historical data. Our approach was described on Tnooz here. We have now applied a similar approach to over 1,500 train, bus, ferry and taxi operators across the globe. To create models for such a diverse range of transport companies we collected thousands of pricing data points. Managed by a global team of data researchers, the result is almost complete coverage for the 185,000 routes currently in our transport database. While the coverage is comprehensive it is not 100% complete, and we continue to add routes and operators in all parts of the globe.
We are excited about this new component of Rome2rio. It is the most significant new feature addition to our core functionality, and we are optimistic it will provide significant value to our growing array of B2B partners, as well as our own consumer-direct efforts.