Thursday 16 December 2021

Presentation of the Commuter and Regional Train Services (CRTS) sector’s future strategy and Handbook during the UITP Regional and Suburban Railways Committee in Paris

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The UITP 55th RSR committee, hosted by RATP at the UIC headquarters in Paris, was held on 25 and 26 November and was attended by almost 20 representatives in person and more than 20 online. Mr Mezghani, UITP Secretary General, and Mr Davenne, UIC Director General, both also attended, with the latter welcoming the participants to the UIC headquarters.

Mr Davenne highlighted the importance of cooperation between UIC and UITP, who recently joined forces during the COP26 in Glasgow, where they realised how difficult it is to have an impact, even when public transport is highlighted as a sustainable solution in all political speeches. Mr Mezghani and Mr Davenne agreed on the value of having the same narrative, as both organisations advocate for the same message and have a similar approach.

The UITP session focused on several issues, including cybersecurity, automation, ERTMS, environmental governance and plans to win back passengers. Additionally, the activities organised during the European Year of Rail, such as the Accessibility Day and the assistance to COP26 (in cooperation with UIC), were reviewed by Anne-Laure Le Merre, who also took the opportunity to present the “Win back passengers” brochure.

The UIC Commuter and Regional Train Services sector (CRTS) was represented by Vanessa Perez, senior advisor of the UIC Passenger Department, who explained that the CRTS is a group of experts on Commuter and Regional Train Services that has being working together for the last 10 years, regularly exchanging best practices. She also presented the sector’s latest activity and news, with special emphasis on the publication of the CRTS Handbook and CRTS Training.

The CRTS Handbook is the result of three years of work within the group and aims to provide an overview of best practices regarding Commuter and Regional Train Services on a global scale, focusing on the most important strategic issues to understand the different ways of dealing with them, depending on different framework and network conditions. The handbook is now available on the UIC website: https://uic.org/passenger/commuter-and-regional-train-services/.

CRTS Training has been running since 2016, both in person and online. The training programme aims to examine all the constituent elements, as well as the different types, of Commuter and Regional Train Systems (CRTS) and to measure their impact impartially and objectively from political, social and economic standpoints. This training allows participants to meet and exchange experiences with other participants from different areas of the world and to attend lectures by representatives of railway companies, the supply industry, university, international organisations and public authorities.

Federica Follesa, the new chair of CRTS, presented the short- and long-term strategy of the CRTS sector – the result of a task force organised over recent months to reshape the sector by thinking from the perspective of customers and railway undertakings. She stressed the importance of taking a customer-centric approach when designing and developing commuter and regional services. Ms Follesa took the opportunity to invite the UITP RSR Committee to join forces and look for synergies and specific common actions between both groups over the next year.

All UIC members are invited to join CRTS, if you are interested in the topic please do not hesitate to contact Vanessa Perez, perez@uic.org, UIC Passenger Department Senior Advisor

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