UIC participated in the World Passenger Festival online event held virtually from 16 – 18 November, which brought together the full transport industry to discuss the future of passenger transport around the world. Speakers included rail, bus, metro, ferry, station, taxi, shared and micro mobility providers as well as regional, national and international authorities and policy makers.
Under the theme Creating a fundamental shift in transport: preparing for a green future of transport and mobility, UIC’s Passenger Director Marc Guigon participated in a panel session on the future of public transport and how the transport industry will recover from the Covid-19 crisis, along with the following speakers:
- Linas Bauzys, Chief Executive Officer, Passenger Rail, Lithuanian Railways
- Carlo Boselli, General Manager, Eurail
The session was moderated by Roger Van Boxtel, Former CEO of Dutch Railways.
The speakers discussed the following topics:
- For a green transport landscape public transport needs to be the backbone of mobility – how can we ensure this is a reality in the future?
- The role of effective customer experience, communications and policy to make public transport the obvious choice for every journey
- Achieving a better future for public transport: the policy, technology and system changes which will support a golden age for passenger transport
In his key messages, Marc Guigon highlighted the work of the UIC Covid-19 Task Force, the five guidance documents and the two state-of-the-art papers that have been published, and what the railways have done to get back on track. He also spoke about intermobility and interconnectivity in the railways and how in this period of “new normal” it is important for all mobility partners to cooperate and work together.
He emphasised that we as Railway entities, would like Rail to be the backbone of mobility. To be the backbone means that there are other transport modes. The aim is not only to compete with them, but more for complementarity. Each transport mode has its own area of interest. Rail cannot compete with air from Paris to Beijing and cannot compete from homes to railway stations.
He specified that there are superpositions of business areas and rail has to be the most attractive transport mode in this case.
He also talked about the customer experience highlighting the importance of the selling of tickets. It includes several steps which are all supported by UIC standards and tools:
The timetables are important: Today, UIC gets and merges all timetables from all over Europe in one tool called MERITS which is used by almost all Railway Undertakings.
The second phase is to find the price of the journey. He mentioned that UIC, with its members and also OTAs and GDSs are developing a new system which integrates all tariffs and prices, named OSDM: Open Sales and Distribution System which will be operative mid-2021.
The third phase is the ticketing itself: UIC with its members has developed this year a new universal barcode, named Flexible Bar Code which is now used by some UIC members.
He then spoke about railway stations where intermodality is important. UIC has a complete view with this topic in five areas and is exchanging with its members in its working groups:
- Station and Urban Design
- Facility Management
- Retail & Commercial Affairs
- Small Stations
- Persons with reduced mobility
- Inclusive station