Passenger Services Group

Strategic objectives

  1. Enable European distribution of railway tickets for UIC members in a cost-effective manner by taking into account technological development and European regulations
  2. Cooperation between UIC members in order to provide common standards related to all processes involved in railway distribution – timetables, fares, tariffs, booking, fulfilment and after-sales
  3. Agreement on IT standards for telematic applications related to passenger transport
  4. Establishing a common position on good practice relating to the implementation of the European Rail Passenger Rights Regulation (1371/2007)

Commercial group

Creating and maintaining the framework for commercial cooperation between railway undertakings in an international context

The Commercial Group creates and maintains the framework conditions of mutual trust for international tariff cooperation between railway undertakings. The work of the Commercial Group takes place in two main fields, depending on the different ticket types offered by member companies:

1. NRT: Non-Integrated Reservation Tickets: for those companies whose tickets do not include a reservation, allowing passengers to board any train between two stations within a given validity period.

The NRT Group has two subgroups:

1.1. EWT: East West Tariff Committee: this committee aims to organise tariffs and accounting between Eastern and Western European countries, given the differences in the systems.
1.2. Night Trains Group: this group shares information and establishes the necessary conditions for the traffic of international night trains.

2. IRT: Integrated Reservation Tickets: for those companies whose tickets state which train and date the passenger must travel on.

Most companies in Europe combine both systems of ticketing, depending on the rail service.

Publication: Both groups, along with the NRT subgroups, have updated UIC Leaflet 106, which is the key document underpinning their work.

Technical group

Developing IT systems for ticketing and distribution in Europe

The UIC Technical Group is in charge of collecting UIC railway undertakings’ commercial and regulatory requirements and translating these into technical standards and interfaces for European international sales and distribution systems. The group is currently the main driver behind a new three-year strategic plan within the Passenger Services Group.

Publications: The group is tasked with ensuring synchronisation and updates between TAP-TSI ERA technical documents under the existing "ERA-UIC Technical Agreement".

TAP-MD

Telematics Applications for Passenger Maintenance and Development

TAP-MD manages the data exchange specifications for passenger rail distribution. This includes data exchange to cover the entire process from timetable information enquiries through to on-train ticket inspection.

Publications: UIC Leaflets 918-8 and 918-9.

REG

Reservation Expert Group

This group is tasked with maintaining and developing the European standard for reservation messages (developed over the past 40 years) by working to replace the exchange of binary messages with XML messages across Europe, as well as developing graphical reservation interfaces, e-ticketing and including security information in reservation messages.

Publication: UIC Leaflet 918-1 for reservation messages.

TAG

Ticketing Action Group

The TAG defines fulfilment methods for passenger rail transport contracts. It has two active sub-groups: the TLG (Ticket Layout Group), which has defined rail ticket layouts for CIT paper, blank paper (print-at-home tickets) and on-screen display formats, and the TSG (Ticket Security Group), which has defined security features within the ticket to prevent fraud.

Publications: UIC Leaflets 918.2, 918.3 and 918.8.

TSG

Ticket Security Group

This group deals with the security features of international rail tickets. Rail tickets can be protected by Security in Paper (security background, defined by CIT), Security in Data (most often a 2D barcode), Security in System (reference to a contract on a server) or a combination of two or more of the above.

The public key management website is used to exchange public keys to ensure that barcodes are not counterfeited.

Publication: UIC Leaflet 918.3 for barcodes

PATRIC

Passenger Accounts and Ticketing Rules Inspection Committee

PATRIC establishes the process for audit of UIC members’ distribution systems, application of tariffs and account-keeping in international passenger traffic, including payment and clearing processes. The results of the audits are produced and work is organised by the PATRIC steering board which, according to UIC Leaflet 120, works to create the appropriate framework to develop this kind of activity.

MERITS

Multiple East-West Railway Integrated Timetable Storage

MERITS is a single database containing the timetable data of many railway companies, which is integrated and reproduced twice a week. MERITS is designed to allow each railway company to have rapid access to all the data needed to produce timetables and to operate with a single source of data, thereby doing away with large volumes of multilateral exchanges.

The MERITS timetable data consists of:

  • Train schedules and services
  • Location database
  • MCTs (minimum connection times)

USE OF MERITS DATA
MERITS integrated data is used to ensure broad coverage of railway undertaking timetable data, including domestic and international trains, for the following purposes:

  • Customer information
  • Journey planning
  • Ticket booking
  • Feeding mobile applications

PASSAGE

Passenger Accessibility Solutions Support and Action Group of Experts
PRM European Group of Experts

The PASSAGE group of experts has become the go-to body for railway accessibility among the European railways. Its objectives are to create and safeguard professional exchange among the railways in order to identify the work needed at national and transnational level and potential solutions concerning accessibility issues.

The PASSAGE group holds three meetings per year, at which the results of the group’s activities are reported and each company’s latest news on accessibility discussed.

Updates on the performance of the PRM ABT (Assistance Booking Tool) are also provided during meetings. The tool was created to provide assistance services to international passengers by connecting f PRM centres.

Publications: Information on best practice has been collected in UIC Leaflet 145, which provides guidance for the provision of accessibility services in railway companies and is periodically updated by members.

RIC/A

Regolamento Internazionale delle Carrozze/ dei treni Automotori
Since 1922, the RIC/A agreement has governed the exchange and use of coaches and self-propelled units in international traffic.
The RIC and RIA Agreements are administered by the RIC/A Special Group and by the Secretariat which is part of UIC.
Both agreements describe the operation of the system and the responsibilities of the relevant stakeholders (RUs and keepers) and are continuously adapted to enable the reciprocal use of passenger cars or self-propelled units in international traffic.
The agreements need to keep in step with the ever-evolving railway environment. To ensure that they do so, RIC and RIA experts in working groups reporting to the RIC/A SG suggest amendments, which are put to a vote at the RIC or RIA General Assembly and are published as a new amended text of the agreements, which enter into force each January.

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