Touch and go: EU wants 'intelligent' transport systems
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Travelling across Europe by rail, coach or other services would become easier if EU national governments would do a better job of sharing information and using technology to improve trip planning, said EU officials trying to spur transport efficiency.

Transport and communications ministers meeting in Nicosia this week discussed the EU’s progress on mobilising intelligent transport systems, or ITS, to remove some of the frustrations regularly faced by travellers.

Such hassles include not being able to plan connections between rail and bus services on transnational trips, or not getting real-time traffic and weather information.

Siim Kallas, European Commission vice president in charge of transport, discussed with the ministers ways to employ technology to make journey planning easier and to ensure that a 2008 EU action plan and a 2010 directive for ITS deployment is fulfilled no later than 2014.

“To make the best use of all existing transport modes and infrastructure, we need to ensure the availability, accessibility and exchange of all relevant information, such as schedules, capacity and paths,” Kallas said in a statement.

Improving transport planning and information, he said, “will allow new services like route planners or smart reservation and payment to spread for both passengers and freight, going beyond national borders and offering alternative transport modes."

Cutting delays and traffic


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