Wednesday 24 October saw the start of something new at ITS Congresses – an entire day devoted to one topic including stakeholder sessions executive sessions and a special urban mobility tour round the exhibition area. The Urban Mobility day was organised by ERTICO and the European Commission and is part of the ERTICO strategy to drive forward the deployment of ITS where it is needed most in urban areas. The Urban Mobility Day follows on from two ERTICO Fora devoted to Urban Mobility. Read – and view – more here and here. General information on the European Commission’s Expert Group on ITS for urban areas can be found here.

The first and opening session of the day focussed on the European Commission’s Expert Group on ITS for urban areas. The expert group has been working on guidelines for the deployment of key ITS applications in urban areas and in particular on the provision and organisation of multimodal information traffic management and smart ticketing.
The proceedings were opened by Gunter Zimmermeyer previously Chairman of ERTICO. Mr Zimmermeyer reiterated ERTICO’s ongoing commitment to ITS for urban mobility underlining its growing importance now that the world’s population is more urban than rural – and will become ever more so.

Dorota Szeligowska European Commission took the floor as the session moderator giving an over -view of the expert group and its work. Placing the guidelines in the context of the Commission’s renewed focus on the urban dimension in EU transport policy Mrs Szeligowska explained how the ITS expert group which came together in December 2010 for 24 months with 25 members from different stakeholder groups has focussed on four key applications:

The main outcomes of the expert group’s deliberations are:

  • identifying best practice for applications of urban ITS
  • guidelines for urban ITS deployment
  • identifying the possible need for further standardisation on a European level

Mrs Szeligowska highlighted 15 May 2012 Forum on urban mobility organised jointly by ERTICO and Eurocities where the expert group’s preliminary findings were discussed amidst much interest from the wider ITS community.  This directly led to the organisation of the Urban Mobility Day at ITS Vienna 2012.

In general Mrs Szeligowska highlighted the need for

  • raising awareness of ITS
  • guidelines for ITS deployment
  • addressing decision makers not producing technical documents
  • analysing how ITS solutions can help resolve problems and achieve policy goals
  • identifying stakeholders and roles
  • identifying key points to foster deployment
  • providing recommendations

The first ITS expert to speak was Jean Coldefy Grand Lyon who reported on the groups work on multimodal information services. Leading with a very positive assessment – “The expert group is convinced that the technology and business model are ready to support information services not for research but real users” Mr Coldefy reflected that public authorities have four main goals regarding transport policy:

  • ease movement of people and goods
  • ensure accessibility of towns
  • reduce environmental and socio-economic impacts
  • re-conquer public space from private cars in favour of eco- friendly modes

Mr Coldefy opined that big new infrastructure building is over – now MIS (management information systems) will be deployed having a great impact on behaviour and finding the best combination of public and private actors’ assets. Mr Coldefy noted that in the urban sphere the share of public space is the main constraint for policy makers.

Mr Coldefy made a series of recommendations

  1. cooperation between public and private actors. To encourage this public data and services should be made available on the condition that the date usage is coherent with public policy. Data quality and completeness musty be ensured.
  2. availability of data and information for each mode of transport and mobility services
  3. marketing – market the modal shift and traveller information services
  4. harmonisation and continuity of services – foster cooperation

The next speaker to take the floor was Alexandre Balquière from Tisséo-SMTC Toulouse on the topic of smart ticketing. Mr Balquière reflected on the goal of ticketing – to collect fares and control or reduce fraud. To this end he pointed out that “smart” means the integration of services and technologies and that “smart” is not necessarily about one ticket for the entire (multi-modal) journey but one wallet enabling the seamless purchase of whichever tickets are necessary. Mr Balquière specified that if there is an integrated transport policy one ticket is possible but in the absence of an integrated policy one wallet is enough.

Mr Balquière noted that smart ticketing modified the relationship between the traveller and his ticket. Complementary services could easily and usefully be proposed to the traveller; efficiency accessibility and the image of urban mobility could be improved; and data collected through the use of smart tickets.

How would a smart ticket actually be used? Mr Balquière identified three options:

  1. using a dedicated application and support- eg a smart phone
  2. virtual tickets – SMS email etc. similar to some  airlines
  3. secure ID and back office processing – eg bankcards

Mr Balquière also noted that with more and more personalised tickets it would become harder to propose group tickets.

Mr Balquière identified the main stakeholders…

  • clients – frequent travellers or occasional
  • scheme providers – provide the tickets
  • industrial suppliers provide the ITS solution
  • PT authorities and operators
  • banks and mobile phone operators
  •  lobbies and media

… and the benefits of smart ticketing…

  • integration of services in a single media
  • facilitate interoperability between different public transport operators etc
  • deep modification of distribution process – less cost and smart payments and remote selling over internet
  • reduce the dwelling time on public transport – increase public transport speed thus reducing operational cost
  • reduction of maintenance cost

… and the impact of smart ticketing…

  •  cotemporary image
  • integration of other services – promote a pack of services to final user
  • easier access to information – potential interface with MIS
  • easier remote sales – reduce queuing
  • integration of privacy protection
  • impact on public transport organisations and business models

…before moving on to the recommendations…

  1. smart ticketing is not replacement of traditional ticketing – features and functions need to be identified
  2. new choices of distribution channel increase speed power and flexibility for final users
  3. smart wallets and post-payment options create a new relationship between client and ticket
  4. marketing issue and public support needed to promote the benefits
  5. integration with MIS – ensure high user satisfaction
  6. integrate organisational and legal issues to overcome geographical barriers and ensure an EU-wide scheme
  7. protection of data privacy vital for acceptability
  8. adopt standards and off-the-shelf products to control costs

The final speaker of the session was Steve Kearns Transport for London who reported on the merged topic of traffic management and urban logistics. Mr Kearns noted that the recommendations were directed at decision makers at a local or regional level so great effort was expended to keep the language non technical non-technical. Mr Kearns underlined that “ITS is not a goal it is a tool to meet goals policy driven goals” such as reducing congestion or energy consumption.

But how does ITS actually help in delivering policy goals? Mr Kearns highlighted that “ITS operates and adds value at every level” although he noted that data sources and integrity are vitally important in this regard.

Mr Kearns highlighted:

  1. cooperation partnership and interoperability
  2. essential tasks for successful delivery
  3. targeting individuals optimising network performance
  4. maximising automation minimise human intervention at operational level standards and harmonisation

Finally Mr Kearns noted the following issues which had arisen as a result of the expert group’s work:

  • urban logistics – integral element of urban traffic management
  • evolving technologies – need to strengthen references to V2X
  • parking management – “the problem caused by vehicles just looking for parking is becoming more and more apparent”
  • standards – technical but also descriptive avoid vendor lock in
  • policies vs projects
  • information services – personalised vs collective – the Olympics show that personal targeted information very effective at influencing behaviour
  • automation of traffic management


1. Mrs Szeligowska referenced the white paper on transport 2011 “Towards a single European transport area” and the ITS action plan and associated directive as well as the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme

Link to original Article

Original Publication Date: Mon 05 Nov 2012