The EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc has announced that 2018 will be the “Year of Multimodality” – a year in which the European Commission will place an emphasis on supporting the multimodality of transport systems in the EU.
This initiative reflects the Commission’s commitment to reducing CO2 emissions, congestion, and air pollution to reach the goals set by the Paris Agreement and improve the quality of life of European citizens.
In the context of transport, multimodality refers to the use of different modes (or means) of transport during the same journey. It is a concept which applies to both freight and passenger transport. Using a combination of different modes of transport allows people and goods to move more efficiently, taking advantage of the strengths of each mode. The result is a more convenient, reliable, predictable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly transport system.
In this way, multimodality will help to bring about a truly sustainable and integrated transport system. During the "Year of Multimodality", multimodality will be supported by looking 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 events and legislative and policy initiatives aimed at promoting the functioning of the transport sector as a fully integrated ‘system’.
To embrace the opportunities offered by digitalisation, a strong focus will be placed on the electronic transport document proposal, the digital corridor information systems, and introducing multimodal travel information and ticketing systems.
Furthermore, the revision of the Combined Transport Directive will provide economic incentives to logistics companies to increase their share in sustainable modes of freight transport.
Multimodality will also serve as a guiding principle for the preparation of the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the new Framework Programme for research and innovation (FP9). At the same time, multimodal infrastructure and innovation will be further supported in the context of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and Horizon2020.
The European Commission is also committed to providing a legislative framework to protect passenger rights in multimodal journeys and to promoting the integration of 'active mobility' with other modes in smart city and urban contexts.