On 28 February 2019, the first meeting of the year of the Commuter and Regional Train Services Working Group was held at the headquarters of BLS in Bern, Switzerland. The meeting was hosted by Hans-Bernhard Fiechter, Head of Offer Planning at BLS and was chaired by Bartłomiej Buczek (PKP SKM), chairman of the group. There were representatives from PKP SKM, BLS, Euskotren, JR East and SENER. The UIC was represented by Vanessa Perez and Amin Saadaoui, Advisors for the Passenger Department.
The meeting started with two case studies respectively presented by Irina Schneider, Head of distribution at BLS AG, and Bartłomiej Buczek regarding new ticketing policies recently implemented in their respective countries.
The first case study was the NOVA interface in Switzerland, a standardised platform for travellers, travel and product data exchange as a backend for all distribution channels for public transport in Switzerland. Mrs Schneider further presented a new ticketing solution developed by BLS for automatic billing in the public transport. The Lezzgo app uses NOVA platform and provides a car-like seamless travel experience.
Bartłomiej Buczek presented the first impressions on the implementation of the Common Ticket in Poland which took place in December 2018. The Common Ticket is a new framework allowing rail passengers in Poland to book a journey operated by different railway undertakings in a single transaction. Besides, the new platform brought along a new tariff scheme promising more convenience and cheaper travel cost for passengers.
Kenzo Fujita, on behalf of JR East, represented the new service provided by the company to passengers regarding the congestion update notification in stations. The systems use image processing to identify congestion rates in different parts of the stations and forward it to passengers. The service is being tested in three pilot stations and subjected to further extension to other stations in the future.
The focus of the meeting was the work progress on the Handbook on CRTS. First, members viewed the “Ticketing systems” chapter, provided input and validated the contents of the chapter. Then the group discussed the roadmap for the “Main principles and logistics chapter.
The CRTS project handbook aims to provide guidelines and recommendations to commuter and regional rail operators on how to initiate and manage CRT operations covering ticketing, safety and security, legal and communication issues, challenges and best practices.
The meeting concluded with discussing near future activities of the group and the plans of cooperation with other bodies in the rail and transport sector. The next CRTS meeting will be held on 4 June, followed by the training on IV CRTS on 5 – 7 June 2019 in Barcelona kindly hosted by FGC.
For further information and registration please check here https://events.uic.org/4th-training-on-commuter-and-regional-train-services
This group is open to all UIC members, so do not hesitate to contact us should you wish to participate.