110 people registered for EPF’s second Summit Conference at the headquarters of the Airports Regions Conference in Brussels on May 26th. A Belgian rail strike led to some cancellations and some participants were thus unable to reach Brussels, but the room was still well-filled.

Speakers included transport industry professionals, researchers, MEPs and European Commission officials as well as members of EPF-affiliated organisations.

The conference focussed on three topics:

  • Passenger safety, security, comfort and convenience – what is achievable and what is acceptable?
  • Challenges in delivering EU-wide multimodal travel services
  • How to put passengers at the heart of EU aviation and travel policy.

The event was sponsored by Amadeus, Deutsche Bahn, Travelport and Airport Regions Conference; with the European Technology & Travel Services Association and Of”Cores as partners.

Summing up the presentations and discussion, EPF President Trevor Garrod highlighted five key messages:

  1. When dealing with security problems in public transport, it is important to keep a sense of proportion and not to overreact. EPF was participating in discussions of practical actions to reduce risks and cope with disruption.
  2. Staff training was one such step. and there were also other reasons for having well-trained, well-informed and well-motivated staff – for example to help and advise actual and potential passengers.
  3. Multimodal information and ticketing to make door-to-door journeys easier required many operators to “come out of the silo.” It was important to identify where there were unmet needs in this respect.
  4. To obtain improvements in services, should we “leave it to the market”? There were cases where competition led to better services. But on the other hand better public transport could be a public service, help in regeneration or encourage modal shift in the interests of the environment – and so intervention by public authorities also had a role to play.
  5. Transparency in fares was important and public transport operators should give value for money, while surcharges and “hidden extras” could deter usage.

The presentations shown during the summit can be downloaded here: