Talking about cross-border public transport

Date: 28.06.2024
On 27 June, CEI-ES was invited to present some achievements as best practices for the promotion of cross-border public transport connections at the 19th Beyond Borders Breakfast Debate. The online event was organized by the Border Focal Point Network, a community supported by the European Commission (DG REGIO), gathering experts and practitioners working on cross-border issues.

Firstly, Mr Paolo Dileno from CEI-ES presented the context – a lack of cross-border public transport connections between Italy and Slovenia at the time when the pilot action within the CONNECT2CE project was designed. This experimental pilot aimed at testing a combined e-ticketing application to travel – with a unique digital ticket – from Trieste city centre to the border railway station of Villa Opicina using the city’s regular bus service, and then to catch the train to Ljubljana using the same e-ticket.

He focused on different aspects that were addressed at the time: (1) promoting cross-border combined ticket, (2) involving stakeholder and (3) efficient cooperation across the border. The results achieved set the basis for capitalising and further promoting cross-border IT-SI connectivity within the SUSTANCE project – the reactivation of the direct passenger train service Villa Opicina – Rijeka.

In this context, Mr. Dileno underlined that this reactivation – after 50 years – was also made possible thanks to the positive cooperation between the Slovenian and Croatian railways. In particular, the improved accessibility of the Villa Opicina railway station and the reactivation of the bus service in Villa Opicina (results of the CONNECT2CE project) were an incentive to design and implement the SUSTANCE cross-border train service.

The ensuing debate focused on the existing possibilities for the potential activation of cross-border public service contracts for bus transport.

More than 100 people participated in the online event. The presented results were highly appreciated by the audience.