Although Europe boasts more than 100 different journey planners, not one of them covers all countries and all transport modes. The technology exists and the need is there to give travellers practical tools allowing them to choose how to travel, be it quickly, cheaply or in a way that least affects the environment. As the European Commission believes citizens are entitled to travel in a way that best suits their needs, it launched a challenge this year to stimulate the development of a truly integrated multimodal and cross-border journey planner. Multimodal travel is a key part of the European Commission’s strategy for the future of transport, aimed at making transport more efficient and clean and ensuring high quality of service.
On 6 June 2011, Vice-President Kallas, EU Commissioner for transport, launched the First Smart Mobility Challenge to industry and the general public to get Europeans moving differently by developing or submitting ideas for Europe-wide journey planners.
The Challenge, which was open until 15 October 2011, is composed of two parts:
- Operational European (or at least cross-border) multimodal journey planners;
- New, bright ideas on how to develop a real European multimodal journey planner – ideally including reservation and ticketing facilities to make sure people can also book their whole journey online.
The journey planners submitted to the Challenge were pre-selected by the European Commission (pre-selection criteria can be found here ; examples of other existing national journey planners can be found here). 12 of them are now put to the vote! The public vote opens on 5 December 2011 and will last until 13 January 2012. In the meantime, the ideas will be judged by an expert jury.
The winners will be announced in Brussels in February 2012. They will be invited to take part in the ITS World Congress in Vienna on 22-26 October 2012 where they will be able to present their planners and ideas at the Commission stand.
Have a look at the competing journey planners and cast your vote for the best European multi-modal journey planner!