CER and UIC: ‘in 2025 passengers will have a seamless user experience buying rail services’
A resolution to improve passenger experience when planning and booking international rail tickets was adopted at the High-Level Passenger Meeting in Prague by CER, UIC and the CEO of Czech Railways on October 6. To that end, the associations are advocating for the adoption of ticketing system model OSDM in European regulation, which they say “cannot be delayed beyond 2022” without putting the sector fulfilling its commitment to deploy corresponding ticketing aspects by 2025 at risk.
To improve international rail ticketing, the organisations ask the European Commission to “take all the necessary steps to support through an adequate regulatory framework”. They advocate that the so-called Open Sales and Distribution Model (OSDM), jointly developed by the members of UIC with ticket vendors, members of EU Travel Tech and the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association, becomes the European-wide industry standard for ticket sales, reservations and price distribution. It is an IT protocol, which can manage both static priced tickets as well as dynamic priced tickets and seat reservations.
European passenger rail CEOs from the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure companies (CER) and the International Union of Railways (UIC) gathered in Prague for their annual high-level meeting to discuss their long-term vision for customers and passengers. The meeting was also attended by Martin Kupka, Minister of Transport of the Czech Republic, next to Michal Krapinec, CEO of Czech railways České dráhy.
Resolution for seamless travel
In the resolution signed at the meeting, the organisations commit themselves that in 2025, passengers will have a seamless user experience when searching, selecting, buying and using rail services. Specifically mentioned are that access to simple, reliable and comprehensive online and real time information regarding timetables and sales offers for rail transport services should be achieved. Both for domestic (urban, regional, long-distance) and international travel, through the implementation of ‘harmonised sector-driven technical solutions’.
Passengers should have access to buying international train tickets from six months up to one year ahead from multiple carriers in one through-ticket, allowing seamless international rail journeys. In addition, there should be easy acceptance throughout Europe of tickets issued by different railways and ticket vendors, and access to digitalised services to support passengers in case of delays and disruptions.
Participants of the meeting were also addressed by Sandro Santamato, Head of Unit C.3 at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Mobility (DG MOVE), to discuss the Commission’s view on ticketing and the multimodal digital mobility services initiative. CER says it “shares the vision of seamless rail ticketing and is looking forward to working towards this goal with DG MOVE”.