UIC gives third party access to MERITS Integrated Data
As modern rail distribution systems are itinerary-driven, providing data to MERITS will enhance the opportunity to sell tickets.
UIC, within its policy of openness, transparency and promotion of rail sector activities, has announced that the MERITS (Multiple East-West Railways Integrated Timetable Storage) Integrated Timetable Data is now available to all users, including non-UIC members.
MERITS is a single database containing the timetable data of 32 railway companies which is integrated and reproduced on a monthly basis, and is designed to allow each railway company to have rapid access to all the data it needs to produce timetables.
Access to MERITS Integrated Timetable Data to third parties was approved by the UIC members in April 2017 and is applicable from March 2019.
The commercialisation of MERITS represents a major evolution for the whole rail passenger sector. Opening MERITS Integrated Timetable Data will:
- Respond to the stakeholder and customer expectations in terms of sharing information by showing that conditions are in place for realising quick time-to-market solutions
- Show the railway sector’s willingness to be an active member of the multimodal transport system
- Enable the railway sector to be a main actor of the digital revolution
- Deliver the best possible quality integrated rail timetable data at an attractive price and under certain usage conditions, ensuring that the railway services are properly and neutrally presented in non-railway journey planners and websites, in compliance with EU legislation.
The MERITS Integrated Timetable Data consists of schedules of trains (about 600,000 services); location database (about 67,680 railway stations and stops); minimum connection times; and pedestrian links and connections between locations.
The timetable data is mainly provided by railway undertakings from large Europe (including Russia and Turkey).
UIC Director General, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, said: “In our new big data world, collection and connectivity of data are key factors to improve productivity of our processes and services for our customers. This is particularly important for interurban international passenger trains.
“This opening of the MERITS database is undoubtedly an improvement for our collective customers and in turn for our ticketing and sales. UIC is happy to have been the driving coordinator for our members in this collaborative achievement.”