Referring to the publication of the European Union’s rail passenger satisfaction survey, Bulc says in almost areas the results are better than in the previous survey in 2013. She notes that 80% of Europeans take the train at least once a year, and 13% are regular travellers. 75% of rail passengers agreed buying tickets is easier than before and 60% are satisfied with the level of frequency, which is an improvement over the situation five years ago. In addition, 59% of passengers are satisfied with the level of punctuality.

“Only 38% of passengers are satisfied with the handling of complaints, and there has been little improvement,” says Bulc. “Accessibility for disabled passengers is still problematic, especially regarding station staff. “I am calling on all CEOs to improve this in the next five years.”

“The survey also shows the need to make the integration of modes better,” Bulc says. “Investment to improve the last mile to and from the station is really essential. Please join forces with other operators to improve this.”

Bulc outlined three key points which railways need to pay special attention to:

  • Better cooperation - on a digital level it is all about the user’s needs
  • Multi-modality, and
  • Infrastructure - the new EU Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027 will have an investment fund of €36bn.

“Next year, the rationalisation of all railway rules will be completed thanks to the work of the EU Agency for Railways so we can finally have a single market for rail in Europe,” Bulc revealed.

“Regarding ERTMS, I want you to take this seriously,” she urged CEOs. “It hasn’t really hit the market yet in Europe, while railways around the world are embracing it. I want to see a full-scale deployment of ERTMS in Europe - it will be a huge benefit.

“The future of mobility is clean, silent, efficient, and above-all customer oriented. If we can achieve this, the future will be really bright.”