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Published on Thursday, July 11, 2013

EU launches plan to bring together planes, trains and buses

An Amadeus-led consortium has been appointed to develop a model for a pan-European information and booking system to make it easier to travel across the continent using various modes of transport including air and rail.

Set up by the European Commission, its aim is to enable residents and visitors to "enjoy a seamless door-to-door travel experience", by establishing a framework for European multimodal transport that streamlines shopping, booking, ticketing and payment processes.

Amadeus is joined in the consortium by Dutch and Belgian joint venture BeNe Rail, airline association IATA, technology firm Thales, rail company UNIFE and Zeppelin University.

The appointment of the All Ways Travelling consortium is part of the EC's Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area initiative, which is also aiming to drive growth and employment within the transport sector and reduce carbon emissions.

In the first stage, Zeppelin, a privately-funded university, will carry out an indepth study of multimodality, to be completed before the end of 2013.

Once the results are validated by the EC, the consortium will trial a series of Proofs of Concept  in terms of business models, operations and specific technologies that have been identified as critical for market delivery.

Siim Kallas, vice president of the European Commission in charge of transport, said: "We need to develop European multimodal journey planners in Europe. 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."

Thomas Drexler, global head of Amadeus Rail and Ground Transportation, said: "In addition to the breadth of knowledge and experience within the consortium itself, we have created an advisory board consisting of 10 representatives of the major players in the industry to ensure that the approach to multimodal travel is truly beneficial for the travel industry as a whole."


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  • Progress already made....

    Unlike the air industry, the lack of standards in the rail world means it is indeed a complex landscape, but one that plays an important part in European Travel. Innovation in this area is necessary and coming from a business travel background myself, I know first hand how important it is for corporate travel managers who have to report on policy compliance and savings. At SilverRail we have made huge progress in delivering a standardised technology solution to the market; over the last few years we have connected North America and we now have most of Western Europe covered. Since rail is a proven alternative for trips under 3 to 4 hours, the interest in an integrated platform like this continues to grow.

    By Ami Wood, Thursday, July 11, 2013

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