On Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 March, the PES held an unprecedented meeting remotely. Due to the global COVID-19 crisis in fact, more than 25 participants attended “virtually” each day from their respective homes.
Chaired by Luca Mariorenzi (PES Chairman), the meeting confirmed itself as a successful opportunity for dissemination and exchange of views between participants. In addition, in this case it was also a great opportunity to test-run emerging collaborative technologies, demonstrating business continuity even amidst the global Covid-19 crisis.
Both days were characterised by presentations and by interactive sessions that served as an important moment of Q&A and thought gathering process.
Karl Winkler, from OEBB, presented the outcome of the last SPG meeting held in February 2020, concerning Night Trains, NRT and IRT. Karl Winkler also presented the report from the East-West Tariff working group, by talking about the goals achieved in 2019 and the next steps for 2020.
Luca Mariorenzi updated the participants on the status of the nTM-FSM initiative, aimed at providing a common roadmap of the two complementary distribution solutions: new Tariff Model and Full Service Model, the planned future scenario and the planned next steps for 2020.
Clemens Gantert, Chair of the Passenger Services Solution working group, described the status of the IRS 90918-10, the open source space created on GitHub for the nTM activity and the documents for the TAP-TSI revision published by ERA.
David Sarfatti (UIC) and Clemens Gantert jointly presented the ongoing work on the replacement of PRIFIS. David Sarfatti then continued by presenting the status of the Ticket Layout Group. A new version of 90918-8 which contains the Bicycle/dog ticket and the new A4RT layout is to be proposed in June 2020 for publication in 2021.
Kurt De Vriendt, Chair of the Ticket Security Group, concluded the first day by presenting the report from the working group, with focus on the work done on dynamic barcodes and the difference between the current header and the new header that TSG is working on.
Day two was kicked off by Enrique Ruiz, from HIT Rail, and his report on the Electronic Ticketing Centralised Database, how it works and the planned ecosystem to be implemented in 2020.
Stefano Scarci, from EY, followed by giving a presentation on the Passenger Service workshops on Innovation held in 2019 and those planned for 2020 on the topics of MaaS, Design Thinking and IoT/5G. The last part of the presentation was dedicated to an interactive demo on a virtual brainstorming session.
Stefano Scarci also reported on the status of the intermodal initiatives, Air+Rail and D2D. Both projects are currently in their second year and plan to publish an interim report by mid-year and technical interoperability guidelines by the end of the year. Following the signature of the UIC-IATA MoU in January, IATA Intermodal Group and UIC Air+Rail project held their first joint meeting in March. Railway experts are welcome to join both projects.
Vanessa Perez, from UIC, gave a very insightful presentation on the COVID-19 task force created by UIC in the wake of the global health crisis. The task force, composed of RUs and international organisations, will create a network of rail correspondents to exchange practice on the topic quickly and on a regular basis. Marc Guigon, Director of the UIC Passenger Department, provided additional insights.
Jan Vavra, from CIT, informed participants on the COVID-19 legal implications regarding passenger transportation, the revision of the rail PRR, the update of certain CIT products and the CIT working programme for 2020.
Petra Jabroer from Eurail, offered a presentation on the mobile pass Eurail plans to roll out this year. An in-depth explanation of the solution and its main features was presented.
Fabrice Setta, from UIC, provided an update on MERITS, the status of the update process, the functionalities to be implemented this year as part of the evolution of the tool, the MERITS workshop held in January and an overview of MERITS station data.
Daniel Östersjö, from SilverRail, outlined the status of the work done by the RCF1 working group since the last PES meeting and the work planned for 2020.
Clemens Gantert and the newly appointed PATRIC team lead Karl Winkler jointly presented the status of work of the PATRIC audit working group.
David Sarfatti closed the second day by offering the status of work done by the PASSAGE working group and the plan for 2020, which is to improve the PRM ABT web application to better support Passengers with Reduced Mobility travelling in Europe.
The next meeting Passenger Expert Subgroup meeting will take place on 28 and 29 October.