Brussels, 31 May 2011 – European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas is challenging industry to come up with a truly European journey planner that includes all countries and transport modes. Although more than 100 journey planners already exist, there is not one yet that allows users to find information or book a ticket for a journey within Europe regardless of the number of countries or transport modes involved. Vice-President Kallas, Commissioner responsible for transport, launched the challenge at a conference on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) on 6 June 2011. The public will be invited to vote for their favourite option once the competition has ended.
Vice-President Kallas said: “I do not see why there is such a big patchwork of journey planners when there is supposed to be one European market. I want to travel through Europe, switching from air to rail or sea, to urban or road transport with a single ticket planned and bought online This is why I am launching this challenge today. The technology already exists, we just need to get things started so that millions of Europeans are able to plan their journey with just a few simple clicks.”
The Commissioner decided to make the announcement in Lyon as the conference is dedicated to how ICT technology can help to solve many of the issues related to transport. The challenges of climate change, increasing congestion and fuel costs mean we need to find smarter ways to travel. Multimodal travel – using different types of transport for one journey – is part of the answer. It would not only be better for the environment, it may also be easier on our wallets.
The challenge for a truly European journey planner is open to everyone, from companies and organisations to anyone with an interest in travelling. The public will be able to vote on the journey planners that have been submitted and are already up and running, while a professional jury will evaluate ideas for a new multimodal planner. The winners will receive help from the European Commission to promote their ideas.
People have until 9 September 2011 to submit their ideas. From 15 October to 15 November 2011 all operational planners that have been submitted and preselected will be put to a public vote on the website of the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport. Meanwhile a professional jury will evaluate ideas for new journey planners.
At the conference Vice-President Kallas unveiled the challenge webpage eujourneyplanner.eu featuring, in addition to all details on the challenge, a selection of existing national journey planners on a clickable map of Europe.
Vice-President Kallas also opened the 8th ITS European Congress in Lyon on 6 June. The congress is dedicated to “Intelligent mobility – ITS for sustainable transport of persons and goods in urban regions”.
Source – European Commission.