Positions 12 May 2015

CER position paper on access to transportation data

Technology has started a revolution in the world of mobility, and has radically modified passengers’ expectations. Modern passengers expect personalised, user-friendly and accurate information services to plan their itineraries and make decisions in only a few clicks. The railways are aware of these expectations and are keen to embrace technological and societal changes in order to meet the needs of modern customers. They already collaborate both with each other and with a wide range of third parties (such as application developers, search engines, GDSs or travel agencies) to serve their customers. This increasing diversity allows railways to reach new customers, such as travellers from overseas or passengers who do not usually travel by train. It also provides more choice to customers, in terms of sources of information. The potential of exchange in the field of transport information is clear, and well understood by railway operators as both providers and users of data and information. Past experiences in both roles have shown the railways what works well for the benefit of the passenger and have highlighted the opportunities and challenges surrounding the concept of data and information exchange. Sharing information can ultimately benefit passengers, the economy and transport operators, including railway operators. For this, quality, choice, access conditions and competition should be adequately regulated. Openness should therefore be encouraged, with the necessary framework conditions in place.