European railways join forces to enhance booking opportunities for the benefit of European passengers
14 June 2013 • Author: Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER)
The CEOs of European passenger railways agreed to launch a joint project, “Full Service Model”, designed to enhance end-to-end journey information and make it easier to book train and intermodal journeys on a diversity of distribution channels during their meeting yesterday in Spiez, Switzerland. The project will facilitate cross-distribution and allow railways to provide more choice and information to passengers, by making the most out of modern information technology (IT) developments.
European passenger CEOs agreed to run the project jointly with the ticket vendors’ associations ETTSA, ECTAA and GEBTA. The main goal of this project will be to reinforce business partnerships by making it easier for both railways and third party ticket vendors to display accurate and transparent data about available rail products, whilst respecting the commercial freedom about distribution channels and partners. It will concentrate on the functional requirement specifications for an IT infrastructure providing system capabilities for increased IT interoperability in the field of distribution. The end result for passengers will be an easier and faster access to information about rail services, on a much wider diversity of distribution channels. The project is expected to start immediately after the summer break and to last until the end of 2014. The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) will support it in an advisory capacity.
High Level Passenger Group Chairman and CEO of SNCB Marc Descheemaecker welcomed the agreement: “This agreement is a powerful signal given to European passengers. The railways are ready to embrace innovative technologies in order to enhance further their services. It also shows that European railway undertakings are proactively meeting the needs of their passengers and are ready to collaborate, going beyond regulatory constraints.”
CER Executive Director Libor Lochman added: “With this decision, the European Passenger CEOs took a major commitment. This exciting endeavor, executed jointly with the ticket vendors will bring steep improvements to the way rail and intermodal journeys are distributed.”