ERTICO: What is the goal of your newest initiative “Smart Mobility Challenge 2011”?

Siim Kallas: I want to challenge stakeholders and service providers to come up with a truly European journey planner that includes all countries and transport modes. Although more than 100 journey planners exist today there is not one yet that allows users to find information or book a ticket for a journey within Europe regardless of the number of countries or transport modes involved.

The Challenge is about raising awareness for the issue of a Europe-wide multi-modal journey planner – and not only ITS in the community but also with the travelling public. This should be a stepping stone towards European services. The technology already exists but we need further work on organisational solutions so that millions of Europeans are able to plan their journey with just a few simple clicks.

ERTICO: How important is a European multi-modal journey planner for the future of mobility?

Siim Kallas: Traveller information services are a key element as they provide the European traveller with comprehensive door-to-door information allowing for well-informed travel decisions.  Multi-modal journey planners are especially important to make a more integrated mobility system as user-friendly as possible. A good journey planner will help:

  • inform citizens comprehensively and conveniently about their travel options
  • save time and money in travelling and its related planning
  • promote sustainable modes of transport and travel behaviour
  • contribute to co-modal integration but also competition.

Such applications address key elements of the European Transport Policy. It is precisely the reason why the ITS Action Plan includes multi-modal journey planning. EU-wide multimodal travel information services are among the priorities of the ITS Directive (2010/40/EU)  where specifications will be developed until the end of 2014.

ERTICO: What are your most important priorities for the deployment of ITS in the context of your White Paper on the future of transport?

Siim Kallas: To deploy intelligent transport systems for all modes of transport and to use them to get to advanced integration of transport modes into seamlesss mobility chains is one of the main goals of the new White Paper. The Commission will carry out several initatives in this domain:

A major push towards multi-modal travel planning and integrated ticketing. A Single European Transport Area depends on effective and interoperable Europe-wide systems for multi-modal travel planning and integrated ticketing. In the short term there will be a push to move ahead with necessary EU measures to facilitate multi-modal integrated travel planning starting with the key standards necessary to facilitate EU-wide rail travel planning (2012) as well as necessary legislative measures to ensure service providers have access to real time travel and traffic information. Ticketing is then the natural next step with good attempts at harmonising ticketing tools already existing today.

A strong focus will be on the deployment of smart mobility systems such as the air traffic management system of the future (SESAR) the European rail traffic management system (ERTMS) and rail information systems maritime surveillance systems (SafeSeaNet) River Information Services (RIS) ITS and the next generation of multimodal traffic management and information systems.

The Commission will follow up the European electronic tolling systems e.g. a service for lorries will become available as of October 2012 and two years later for all kinds of vehicles ensuring that drivers can pay different tolls for the use of motorways electronically and through a single service provider for the whole of Europe.The Commission will bring forward proposals for an EU framework for urban road user charging and access restriction schemes for the increasing number of Member States who want to use charging schemes to alleviate congestion and shift transport patterns in cities. This will ensure that the different schemes operate within a coherent EU-wide framework and are non-discriminatory.

Furthermore the Commission will develop a plan for investment in new navigation traffic monitoring and communication services to allow for the integration of information flows management systems and mobility services based on a European Integrated Multimodal Information and Management Plan.

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Original Publication Date: Fri 01 Jul 2011