Original publication:  August 2015
Authors: Matthias Finger, Nadia Bert, David Kupfer
Short link to this post: http://bit.ly/2Hq2wu4
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This study was published in the reference document “The World is Changing. Transport, Too”, Part III.

The World is Changing. Transport Too.

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The world and the transport sector are changing.

The (more and more urban) European population is growing and ageing which affect mobility needs and patterns. The rapidly developing mobile information and communication technologies give rise to new transport services/systems. Transport technologies are also evolving because the sector is pressed to run in a more ‘environmental-efficient’ way and is increasingly subject to global competition.

All these societal (e.g. sharing economy), technological (e.g. unmanned vehicles) and economic changes (e.g. E-commerce) have an impact on transport as a whole, whether it is long distance (e.g. multi-modal travel planning and integrated ticketing), urban (e.g. ‘Transportation Network Companies’) or freight transport (e.g. upheaval in logistics and delivery services).

This overview addresses this evolving context and the related challenges.

Part I, which is principally related to the major urban areas of the west of the continent, is about the new trends in transport demand and related impact on transport systems and patterns generated by changes in demography, mobile technologies and the internet.

Part II relates to changes in technologies to meet emerging urban mobility patterns. It shows that transport is undergoing massive digitisation. Furthermore it advocates alternative drive technologies and electric vehicles as the key technologies for a decarbonisation of the sector.

Part III provides an in-depth analysis of the role of regulation in preparing transport for the future. It notably underlines the regulatory implications of the current challenges affecting different transport modes and the mobility system as a whole.

PART III: The Role of Regulation in Preparing Transport for the Future

New social trends and technological developments fundamentally modify the transportation system. Furthermore, the emergence of new business models and new types of service challenge the existing transport sector’s structure and governance.

EU regulation covers all modes of transport, which have been so far mainly regulated through a sector-specific approach. Yet, the new challenges relate to the various modes. Hence, while the rigorous implementation of the existing sector-specific rules remains necessary (to, notably, make the use of the infrastructure more efficient), regulation has to evolve from a sectoral to a more encompassing approach of mobility.

A renewed regulatory framework for transport should focus on the following five key elements:

Regulating customer protection
As the role of data in transport operations is becoming ever more important, privacy and data security will become a major issue for the entire transport sector. European standards are therefore needed on both the technical level and the level of general cross sectoral principles and rules for data protection.

Regulating mobility solution providers
Travellers will increasingly become customers of intermediaries, i.e. mobility solution providers rather than transport operators. Mobility platforms that offer information and booking options across modes will become widespread, and so will companies that facilitate the exchange of services on line. The development of these actors can lead to a more efficient transportation system if regulation guarantees fair competition and clearly defines liabilities.

Regulating the newly emerging data layer
Integrated mobility solutions and corresponding services can only exist on the basis of open and accessible transport data. For this data layer to become openly accessible and usable, strong regulation on data standardisation and data accessibility has to be developed. This is probably the biggest challenge for EU regulators.

Regulating intermodality and intermodal competition
As mobility services are by definition intermodal, special attention needs to be paid to the regulation of intermodality and intermodal competition. On the one hand, intermodal transport hubs (ports, airports, railway stations) must be regulated as such. On the other hand, special attention needs to be paid to removing distortions among the different transport modes.

Regulating the infrastructure layer and guaranteeing a stable legal framework to favour investments
As new mobility services become a new reality, both transport service providers and transport infrastructure operators will come under further financial pressure and this in addition to increasingly scarce public finances. Consequently, regulation will have to ensure a stable and EU-wide regulatory framework fostering investments, as well as appropriate infrastructure pricing and financing.

Link to the full study: http://bit.ly/563-424

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