Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission
The comprehensive package put forward by the Commission on 30 January 2013(1) aims at completing the Single European Railway Area. The goal is to deliver better quality and choice in railway services in Europe through innovation resulting from opening EU domestic passenger markets to competition, technical and structural reforms.
The Commission agrees with the Honourable Member that seamless ticketing and travel information are central to rail's attractiveness.
There is a distinction between ‘a ticket’ and ‘a journey’: different legal implications attach to each under Regulation 1371/2007(2). A through ticket (including travel on other transport modes) enables a passenger to claim his rights in case of a missed connection due to a delay in a previous leg of his journey. Through tickets are available only if commercial and distribution arrangements exist and so permit. Separate tickets purchased for a journey mean different transport contracts with different railway undertakings.
These aspects were fully taken into account in the impact assessments underpinning the Commission initiative. In the interests of subsidiarity the proposal did not require Member States to put in place integrated ticketing systems, but it fully recognises their importance. Thus the 4th rail package includes the measures needed to ensure Member States can develop integrated ticketing and require railways to take part in it in a non-discriminatory manner. The Commission is developing technical standards for interoperability for ticketing, and for efficient provision of travel information, based on Directive 2008/57/EC on the interoperability of the rail system in the Community(3).