News 12 Feb 2024

Rail Sector on target for delivering commitments on ticketing

The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) has released its third progress report on the implementation of its Ticketing Roadmap, which was published in autumn 2021 and embodies the rail sector’s vision for ticketing and distribution by 2025 and 2030, respectively. The Roadmap establishes concrete actions to further improve the experience of rail passengers in the Single European Railway Area and is a key indication of the sector’s commitment to the European Union’s climate and growth goals.

To assess advancement in terms of implementation and pinpoint focal areas, CER passenger railways conduct biannual surveys, with results delivered to the CER General Assembly. This latest report offers a condensed overview of the third survey conducted in November and December of 2023, presenting the current status, and highlighting areas requiring strengthened attention. The findings and suggestions from the survey received the approval of the CER General Assembly on 30 January 2024.

Survey response has improved versus the first survey undertaken in autumn 2022. This time, 24 of 29 CER member railways representing 95.8% of CER passenger traffic participated. Geographical coverage extends to rail traffic in and between 21 EU Member States on the continent, as well as the Eurostar operations to and from London.

Roadmap delivery is largely on track, both regarding multilateral solution development and implementation by the railways individually. Only a few changes to the railways’ implementation timelines were reported. A few, overall insignificant, delays here and there are, on balance, offset by a number of accelerations. The timeline planning appears stable overall and bodes well for meeting the 2025 milestones. However, CER members have nonetheless been urged to further accelerate their individual timelines by prioritising tasks accordingly, thus reducing the somewhat 2025-heavy focus of overall implementation planning.

The survey highlights once again the dependence on third parties such as infrastructure managers and national authorities for some of the less mature Roadmap actions. The extension of booking horizons and the harmonisation of ticket conditions are particularly dependent on alignment with third parties. Some benchmark initiatives have been reported by individual Railway Undertakings (RUs) aiming to accelerate implementation in close collaboration with domestic stakeholders, or to take a degree of commercial risk to bring about customer improvements. CER’s internal Ticketing Task Force will further explore to what extent such lighthouse initiatives can be adopted by other RUs.

Moreover CER members have been asked to address with national stakeholders the need for convergence between national legacies and the requirements of the Single European Railway Area as featured in the Roadmap. CER and UIC are also progressing on developing enablers for international ticketing, as these play a crucial role in ensuring interoperability and efficiency in ticket distribution. European Commission engagement with the sector is key to ensure this investment will be viable for the foreseeable future.

The next survey to monitor progress in implementation is scheduled for spring 2024. Once again, the significant outcomes will be shared following their endorsement by the members of CER.

CER Executive Director Alberto Mazzola said: “Full and timely implementation of the CER Ticketing Roadmap is an absolute priority for CER members and this was once again underlined at the recent CER General assembly. Work is well underway to ensure important customer improvements are implemented by 2025 which will then lay the groundwork for delivering 2030 commitments. To reach these results we have offered  from the beginning to cooperate with all stakeholders.”

The third progress report on the implementation of the CER Ticketing Roadmap is accessible here on the CER website.

Download below the press release.