The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) has published a Ticketing Roadmap which addresses the further improvement of the customer experience when planning, booking, and travelling internationally by rail.
A true modal shift towards rail involves not only investment for rail infrastructure and rolling stock, but also creating a favourable climate for passengers including comprehensive and connected services that meet their requirements. Thus, the rail companies are committed to improve international ticketing approach.
By the year 2025 CER members commit to many important actions aimed at a more seamless passenger experience, such as extending the booking horizon and making tickets more available. In addition, the companies will ensure that passengers on international journeys with multiple carriers will get better support in case of disruptions or delays. These commitments were given by CER members at their recent General Assembly in Gdansk on 20 September 2021.
“We have committed to a set of actions that will ensure a seamless ticketing experience by 2025, thus making rail even more attractive as a green and affordable transport solution. We invite all relevant stakeholders to support the Roadmap and help us to realise the EU’s Green Deal objective together,” CER Executive Director Alberto Mazzola said.
The 2030 goal of the Ticketing Roadmap is to provide a seamless user experience for passengers when searching, selecting, and buying their railway services, including first and last mile transport. Passengers shall have access to simple, reliable, and comprehensive online information regarding timetables, prices, dependable real-time information, and ticket purchasing for rail transport services, both domestic, urban, regional, long-distance and international. Tickets issued by different railways and ticket vendors will be easily accepted throughout Europe. In the event of travel disruption, passengers will be able to easily attain information on how to continue their journey as well as their passenger rights.
Today many online platforms already exist, that allow customers to purchase tickets for international journeys, however “we are aware that this experience is not always frictionless, and customers expect more,” CER says.
In recent years, European Railways have been working on enablers, creating the respective specifications for train ticket sales that harmonise the different ways of selling tickets, Europe-wide integrated rail timetables, and the basis for full ticket digitalisation. This will allow a lot of new services to be offered to passengers.