European Commission - Press release
Transport: public vote on electronic journey planners now open
Brussels, 05 December 2011 - European citizens have been invited today to start voting for their favourite multimodal journey planner as part of the first European Mobility Challenge launched by the Vice-President Siim Kallas, Commissioner for Mobility and Transport. The idea behind the challenge was to raise awareness about and stimulate development of all-in-one journey planners, going beyond national borders and offering alternative transport modes. Now it is time for the public to have their say on the submitted planners.
When launching the challenge Vice-President Kallas had said: "Today's patchwork of travel planners is incompatible with the Single European transport market we all need. Why can't I yet plan or book my journey through Europe, switching from air to rail or sea, to urban or road transport in one single go and online? The technology already exists, we just need to get things started." Opening the public vote today, Mr Kallas added: "Finding and comparing alternative travel plans in just a few simple clicks, without multi website hassle, will help people choose the best personalised transport solution; will allow the entire transport system to function smoother and more efficiently. We need to press for further progress but now is the moment to check how far we got until today: have your say!"
The challenge for a truly European travel planner was open to everyone, companies and organisations or anyone with an interest in travelling. 28 examples of journey planners were submitted and 22 new innovative ideas. Unfortunately not all submitted planners – innovative and easy to use as they may be – could satisfy the strict cross-border and multimodal requirements.
Now it is time for the public to cast its vote, between 5 December 2011 and 13 January 2012, on the 12 short-listed planners. In parallel, an expert jury will meet to deliberate on the submitted ideas. The best entries in each category will be announced by Vice-President Kallas at an event in Brussels in February 2012. As a prize, the winners in each category will be invited to next year's ITS World Congress in Vienna (22-26 October 2012) to present their ideas and solutions at the Commission's stand.
The updated challenge webpage (www.eujourneyplanner.eu) features the map of planners put to the e-vote, as well as a complete list of the journey planners and ideas submitted to the Commission in response to the Challenge.
The big challenges faced by the transport sector today, such as increasing congestion, fuel costs and climate change require that we look for and find smarter ways to travel. More multimodal travel – using different types of transport as part of one door-to-door journey – is part of the answer. It is not only better for the environment, but it is also likely to be easier on our wallets and offer personalised travel solutions. Although more than 100 journey planners already exist, there is not even one yet that would allow European citizens to find information or book a ticket for the entire journey within Europe regardless of the number of countries or transport modes involved.