Every couple of years, the European Commission publishes a Rail Market Monitoring Report (RMMS).  It gives an overview of the state of the European rail market in the context of the EU’s policy objectives – market opening, modal shift, improved safety, the development of high speed rail, etc.  The latest edition of the RMMS came out n February.

The report is accompanied by a lengthy staff working document.  This is a treasure trove of statistical analysis from which one can make fascinating comparisons between railways throughout the EU.

A working group of national government representatives and stakeholders oversees the preparation of RMMS.  EPF has been an active member since the outset.  We have long argued that the success of the EU’s rail market policy initiatives is best reflected through the measurement of user satisfaction.

This as a sensible measure of the benefit of EU policy for users.  In recent years, with our encouragement, DG MOVE has invested significantly in a Eurobarometer on passengers’ satisfaction with passenger rail services.  Transport Focus, our British member, which itself commissions a number of large-scale passenger satisfaction surveys every year, has provided some technical assistance to the Commission with this.

The latest RMMS includes the results of the 2018 Eurobarometer.  In parallel, DG JUST conducts a two-yearly Consumer Markets’ Scoreboard. This tracks the recent consumers’ views on the performance of 40 varied market sectors, including rail. Although rail performs poorly, the Scoreboard shows a slight improvement and a small reduction in the proportion of passengers who experienced problems. It will be interesting to see the difference made by the Parliament’s proposed improvements to the EU’s rail passenger rights’ acquis, should they be implemented.