The Commission is committed to reducing CO2 emissions, congestion and air pollution to improve the quality of life of European citizens and to reach the goals set by the Paris Agreement. At the same time, we want to ensure that European transport is safe and our industry remains competitive on the global market. To support these aims EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc has called for 2018 to be the “Year of Multimodality” – a year during which the Commission will raise the importance of multimodality for the EU transport system.
What is Multimodality?
“Multimodality” in the transport sector, or “multimodal transport” refers to the use of different modes (or means) of transport on the same journey. The concept applies to both freight and passenger transport and in both cases can now be driven on by the growing trend towards digitalisation. Multimodality takes advantage of the strengths of the different modes, such as convenience, speed, cost, reliability, predictability, etc, and in combination, can offer more efficient transport solutions for people and goods which will help ease the pressure on our congested roads, and make the whole sector more environmentally friendly, safer, and cost efficient. In this respect multimodality will help bring about a truly sustainable and integrated transport system. During the “Year of Multimodality”, multimodality will be supported by looking together into better infrastructure, connections, incentives and digital solutions for the entire EU transport network.
Throughout the year the Commission will put together a series of legislative and policy initiatives and events aiming at promoting the functioning of the transport sector as a fully integrated ‘system’.
Key thematic areas will include:
- Digitalisation with focus on the electronic transport documents proposal, digital corridor information systems and multimodal travel information and ticketing;
- The use of economic incentives to promote multimodality through e.g. the revision of the Combined Transport Directive and a new study on the internalisation of external costs;
- Support to multimodal infrastructure and innovation, physical and digital, in particular in the context of the Connecting Europe Facility, Horizon 2020 and the preparation of the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the new Framework Programme for research and innovation (FP9);
- Working towards a legislative framework to protect passenger rights in multimodal journeys;
- The promotion of ‘active mobility‘ integrated with other modes in particular in an urban and smart cities context.
- High-level Conference on European Multimodal Freight Transport, Sofia, 20 March 2018
- Transport Research Arena, Vienna, 16 -19 April 2018
- TEN-T Days Connecting Europe, Ljubljana, 25-27 April 2018
- Fifth European Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans, Nicosia , 14-15 May 2018
- EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, across Europe, 16-22 September 2018
In the context of the thematic year of Multimodality 2018, the Commission has also just released an analysis of the burden of taxation and charges on transport, which is key for making the right modal choices.