The European Commission is currently reviewing the ITS directive, which deals with Intelligent Transport Systems to improve safety, traffic efficiency and driver comfort by helping people take the right decisions and adapt to traffic situations. EU rules aim to accelerate and coordinate the deployment and use of these systems. The revision will assess the availability of infrastructure and traffic/travel data across the whole EU transport network. It will also cover new developments such as:
- connected and automated mobility (e.g. self-driving vehicles)
- online platforms allowing users to access several modes of transport.
The European Passengers’ Federation (EPF) fully supports any initiatives to facilitate EU-wide multimodal travel information (including information on environmental impact), ticketing and payment, which would allow passengers to make an informed and sustainable choice in an integrated transport system.
We agree with the key problem drivers identified in the ITS review Inception Impact Assessment Roadmap (lack of interoperability; lack of concertation and effective cooperation among stakeholders; issues related to the availability and sharing of data).
There is a need to integrate historic, static and dynamic data (to enable real-time services) from both users and transport providers, and for provision and access to be regulated to ensure open data and the use of specified standard interfaces to enable interoperability. Regulation may also be needed to address privacy principles as well as security concerns arising from individuals’ data use and provision.
Common standards and standardised interfaces facilitate interoperability, minimising operational delays between networks, operators, systems and modes, and creating economies of scale. The European Union has a key role to play in specifying these standards. Consideration should be given to providing an enabling regulatory framework for synchro-mobility across all modes.
Access to data – on timetables, but also fares – is an essential enabler for creating multimodal integrated information, ticketing and payment systems. It allows service providers – this can be transport operators, or third parties – to put together travel (MaaS) packages combining different modes to enable door to door travel and offering passengers the possibility to book and pay for all legs of their multimodal trip in a one stop shop.
Static data is not enough. Real-time data must be available as well. Passengers need timely and practical information should things go wrong during their journey. They need to be informed about disruptions (e.g. delay, cancellation) and the effect this will have on the rest of their trip: either by the operator they are travelling with and/or by the ticket vendor who sold them the ticket. Other travel service providers also need to be informed because it enables them to secure travel connections, if necessary.
Data sharing should not be a one-way street. Public transport operators and public transport authorities need access to relevant data to gain better insights in user needs, as a basis for policymaking – transport supply and investment decisions –, urban planning etc.
To conclude, for EPF data sharing is essential to improve passengers’ experience and to promote multimodal travel and a modal shift towards more sustainable transport modes. This is true at all geographical levels, local, regional, national, and even international.