What are European railways delivering to enhance the passenger experience?
From the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), Libor Lochman, Executive Director and Ulrich Fikar, Senior Policy Adviser – Passenger, explore the options which ensure rail becomes more attractive to passengers as the expectations of seamless mobility continue to grow.
The rail sector plays an important role in the EU economy, with 2.3 million EU citizens directly and indirectly employed and a Gross Value Added (GVA) of €149 billion. Rail is also nine times less CO2‑intensive than aviation for passenger travel.
Passenger rail transport in Europe has been growing its market share for the last decade. Railways in the EU transported approximately nine billion passengers in 2016. Passengers travelled 489 million kilometres by rail in 2017 and traffic volumes have been increasing at a 1.6 per cent average growth rate over the last decade.
Rail is a popular means of transport for European citizens: Four out of five Europeans take the train occasionally, at the very least. Nevertheless, there is a lot of ground still to be gained.
Passengers nowadays expect seamless mobility; however, mobility is a highly competitive business. The train operating companies are therefore developing more attractive offers for passengers, striving to ensure all their trains and services meet the highest standards and embracing digitalisation and innovation that enable them to act as a mobility integrator.
To allow passenger rail services to fulfil their development potential, railway undertakings need to be able to rely on the rapid deployment of a stable regulatory framework in combination with a committed European policy promoting decarbonisation of transport and environment-friendly mobility.