Wednesday 30 November 2022

Statistics Platform Plenary Meeting

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The first in-person Statistics Platform meeting since 2019 took place on Tuesday 22 November 2022 at UIC HQ in Paris with the participants being delighted to meet again. The Chairman, Roman Sterba (SZCZ, Czech Republic), opened the meeting with a welcome speech and then continued by presenting how the new platform is organised. UIC also reported the year’s internal activities concerning the data collection response rate of the members and their confidentiality, the modifications to certain questionnaires, as well as the clarifications for definitions of variables, the documents and reports produced with the indicators based on the data collected, and finally the development of the Railisa web application.

Then, Catherine Silavong (SNCF, France) presented the impact of COVID-19 on SNCF passenger rail traffic [1] and began by recalling the important series of events starting in December 2019, with the weeks of public transport strikes against pension reform, the subsequent successive lockdown and curfew periods, and the travel restrictions linked to the health pass, with all of this lasting until the summer of 2022. All of this severely impacted traffic with a reduction in both supply and demand. Regional and suburban traffic remains reduced mostly due to remote working, but it was also observed that high-speed rail traffic during the second quarter of 2022 was higher than in the pre-covid period.

Mario Tartaglia (FSI, Italy) gave a presentation on “Using Railisa webservices for data intelligence”. ETL software (Extract, Transform, Load) capable of exchanging data from/to many types of files, services, and databases is used to automate the process of downloading Railisa data into a local system and keep it up to date. Following this, different dashboards to visualise data and indicators for analysis and benchmarking were presented.

Isabelle De Keyzer (UIC) discussed the progress of the Rail Sustainability Index project. 21 KPIs have been collected from members to calculate 7 indices in terms of sustainable development (equality gender, affordable and clean energy, etc.).

Giacomo Potenza (ERA) informed the participants about the Task Force on Data Quality, with UIC taking part in the subgroup on transport statistics. The main objectives will be to map definitions and data providers for approximately 30 indicators, to identify possible overlaps and data quality issues among different organisations, and make proposals for standardising and clarifying.

Next, representatives from Eurostat, ITF-OECD, UNECE and OSJD [2] had an opportunity to take to the floor and present rail transport statistics from their respective member states, as well as their publications and a web application to distribute the data collected at country level. Alexander Blackburn (UNECE) also gave a presentation on innovative techniques using mobile phone data to assess rail passengers.

The Statistics Platform Plenary Meeting approved the 2023 activities programme, surveys and reports, Steering Committee meetings, and key projects.

The day concluded with a workshop on how to use UIC online applications for data collection, visualisation and dissemination, and documentational sharing on the Statistics workspace of the UIC extranet.

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