Brussels, 31 March 2011
Kallas calls on Member States to work together on travel information
The European Commission has encouraged Member States to work together to make it possible for passengers to buy a single ticket for a journey in Europe regardless of the countries or transport modes involved. During today's transport council, Vice-President Siim Kallas told the ministers that the technology already exists to make seamless multimodal travel possible but that their help was needed to remove the remaining barriers, for example by improving the availability and quality of data.
Vice-President Kallas said: "With today's technology, there is no reason why passengers should not be able to access travel information or even buy a single ticket for their journey at the click of a mouse. Buying a single ticket online should be a matter of minutes, whether you change from planes to trains, or from roads to ships for your journey. Even though the technology is there, we will need the Member States to work with us to get things moving."
The roadmap to a Single European Transport Area, published on Monday 28 March, highlighted the importance of having integrated multimodal travel services across the EU. To encourage people to travel more and make use of the advantages each transport mode has to offer, all travel information will need to be easily accessible. Member States can assist by encouraging travel operators to cooperate (for example by sharing data), enhancing the availability and quality of data, and improving the business case for a European solution. This will make it possible for passengers to access all information online to better plan their journeys, as well as reserve and purchase a single ticket regardless of the number of EU countries involved or the number of transport modes.
The EU has already taken the lead to address these issues, notably by encouraging innovation in Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) through initiatives such as a directive on the deployment of ITS as well as an action plan containing specific targets.