i-genius talks trains with Anila
i-genius: Describe Loco2 in one word?
Anila: Traintastic, a word used by very few, but with our collective efforts it may yet enter the English language! Until then I would say unique, because our website is unlike any other that currently exists for booking European trains.
i-genius: What inspired the name Loco2?
Loco2 also means low CO2 because what drives us is a passion for showing people that there are exciting alternatives to flying which are also better for the planet. We believe the best way to change travel behaviour and counter climate change is to make the alternatives intuitive and easy to book, while having a little fun along the way.
i-genius: What is unique about Loco2?
Anila: Loco2 is the first independent, non-rail operator owned company to sell train tickets to destinations in Europe. We were among the first to offer print at home tickets for lots of routes, which means that our website is used by customers all over the world. We’re always coming up with new ways to improve the booking experience too; from letting users choose their seat on double decker TGVs, to creating our shopping basket so you can buy multiple journeys at once. We are motivated to be the best and live for customer feedback.
i-genius: Why did you join the i-genius network?
Anila: We came across i-genius via a friend, and were inspired to join because we think it\'s important to connect with like-minded individuals and organisations. It\'s great to keep company with those who are driven by passion for what they are doing.
i-genius: How long did it take to set up Loco2 (from initial idea, to website, to first booking)?
Anila: The seeds of Loco2 were sown when Co-founder Kate was at university. And it was being involved in this social enterprise competition early on that gave her the confidence to believe that Loco2 had legs.
She and her brother Jamie continued to work on Loco2 in their spare time for several years before going full time last year. They\'ve been prototyping software for longer than they care to mention, but the most recent site has been live since September 2011 and we’re always adding new features. Getting the first bookings from people not known personally to us was a high point.
i-genius: What motivates you?
Anila: Problem solving is definitely something that unites the Loco2 team. Happily (or sadly, depending how you look at it) there are lots of challenges working with European rail. We are inspired by tackling these problems head on, and working through them to make rail travel a more simple customer experience. Our mission is to make booking a train in Europe as easy as booking a flight, and we’re motivating by any small step we make towards making that a reality.
i-genius: What is the Loco2 ethos?
Anila: This is a great question because our ethos and aspirations are at the heart of why Loco2 exists. Loco2 is passionate about a culture of sustainable living, and each person taking responsibility for their own part of building a sustainable future. When it comes to travel, providing train-booking tools and content to inspire people to make more green travel choices is an important part of that.
i-genius: Favourite destination in Europe?
Anila: This is a tough one, and I\'m sure as a team we’d have a hard time choosing just one. But for me personally, it\'s Venice, surely one of the most magical destinations there is. It\'s remained relatively unspoilt over the centuries, in spite of tourism, and to come out of the train station, with steps leading down to the water is spellbinding.