The challenges of delivering EU-wide integrated ticketing

In light of the continuous efforts of the European Commission to improve mobility and conversely reduce CO2 emissions, congestion and air pollution, the Directorate-General for Transport and Mobility (DG MOVE) mandated a study with the twofold objective to provide a comprehensive analysis on the challenges of delivering EU-wide integrated ticketing and investigate what possible actions and initiatives could be foreseen to contribute to that goal.

The European Commission, and DG MOVE in particular, has long been working to improve mobility and transport policies in order to benefit both citizens and businesses. Indeed, transport and mobility play a fundamental role in today’s world and directly affect the life of everyone in Europe. In light of this, the Commission’s goal is to promote mobility that is efficient, safe, secure and environmentally friendly, putting at the forefront the needs of the users. In the past months, a particular focus was placed on the concept of multimodality – which refers to the use of different modes of transport on the same journey -, the importance of which was further stressed by the creation of the Year of Multimodality in 2018.

With the purpose of making multimodal transport more attractive for users and to promote a more efficient use of existing infrastructure and services, DG MOVE mandated a study to investigate and provide a comprehensive and neutral analysis on the challenges of delivering EU wide integrated ticketing and payment systems and what possible actions and initiatives at EU level could be foreseen in pursuance of such goal. Integrated ticketing can be defined as the purchase of a single ticket that allows passengers to travel using different modes of transport provided by one or more operators and is considered as the natural partner to full availability of multimodal travel information and planning services.

A good level of satisfaction, and factors to be improved

As part of this study, the European Services Team of Wavestone conducted an online consumer panels to gather information about the overall experience of passengers of multi-modal transport and users of integrated ticketing systems, as well as their needs and expectations in this matter. Passenger experience typically includes a whole set of activities, ranging from the booking phase to the arrival at the final destination. To this end, 520 passengers have been recruited through an online consumer panel with a balanced geographical distribution within the EU.

The main conclusions drawn on the answers from the respondents shed light on:

/ How people travel multi-modally: respondents heavily rely on three main means of transport, namely the rail, cars (rented or shared) and planes. Therefore, the most popular combinations of transport services involve these means.

/ The use of the single integrated ticket: respondents were sometimes able to buy a single integrated ticket for different journey types, both in an urban and non-urban context, as well as internationally. People usually purchase their tickets at a ticket machine or a counter at the station and pay mostly with a credit or debit card. Finally, respondents seem to equally frequently rely on hard-copy tickets and electronic tickets.

/ The perceived benefits of the single integrated ticket: respondents that have already used a single integrated ticket and those who were not yet able to use it seem to agree that the top three perceived benefits of such a ticket are (i) lower prices and promotions, (ii) ease of booking and (iii) ensured journey connections.

/ The general level of satisfaction: overall the multi-modal travel experience was deemed as good and passengers seemed particularly satisfied with the time-saving possibilities offered by the ticket. However, factors that could improve their experience are cheaper prices and promotions, the provision of clearer information and the creation of dedicated mobile apps.

To find out more details about the publication, please visit the European Commission website.