Passenger Experts Subgroup

Passenger Experts Subgroup

Chair: Luca Mariorenzi, Trenitalia S.p.A.

The Passenger Experts Subgroup (PES) is the umbrella body for the PSG’s commercial and technical activities maintaining international distribution cooperation between UIC members. The PES transforms commercial and regulatory requirements into technical standards and interfaces for international sales and distribution systems.

The activities of the working groups within the PES focus on ticket layout and security, reservations, NRT (Non Reservation Ticket) and IRT (Integrated Reservation Ticket) tariff models for day and night trains, tariffs between Eastern and Western European countries, and the preparation and maintenance of the related international standards (IRS). The Special Conditions of International Carriage are issued by PES subgroups: Sales Process Group (SPG) and East West Tariff (EWT).

Since 2020, the OSDM Executive Committee and the OSDM Technical Working Group introduced under the umbrella of PES, have been tasked with preparing the OSDM Application Programming Interface (API) implementation by UIC members and third parties: ticket vendors, GDs (Global Distribution System), OTAs (Online Travel Agency) and IT providers.

Based on the business needs of PSG members as expressed by the SPG and subgroups, the PES also ensures the correct implementation, maintenance and evolution of the related UIC IT systems such as eTCD (E-Tiket Control Database), Public Key Management Website (PKMW), the Persons with Reduced Mobility Assistance Booking Tool (PRM-ABT), and the OSDM Platform (formerly PRIFIS).

Open Sales and Distribution Model (OSDM)

OSDM Executive Committee (OSDM EC)
Chair: Marc Guigon, UIC
Vice-Chair: Vittorio Carta, DB AG
This group steers the OSDM (Open Sales and Distribution Model) specification and implementation. It defines the priorities and strategic developments of OSDM. It prioritises the backlog based on the value for the railway customer and the railway sector as a whole. The committee is a fair representation of the parties involved, comprising railways, distributors and others.

OSDM Working Group (OSDM WG)
Chair: Clemens Gantert, DB Systel
Vice-Chair: Andreas Schlapbach, SBB
This technical group designs and implements improvements to the OSDM standard. It is thus responsible for translating the functional specifications identified by the SPG/PES and ETT23 into a technical specification document. To ensure focus, the work in progress should not be larger than seven items. The working group takes special care not to break existing implementations, thus securing investments made by all parties.

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Publication:

Sales Progress Group (SPG)

Chair: Pawel Dydyszko, PKP S.A.

The Sales Progress Group creates and maintains the framework of mutual trust for international tariff cooperation between railway undertakings. They aim to harmonise the conditions of carriage and sales and contribute to the draft of Special Conditions of International Carriage (SCIC). The group also collaborates with the UIC PSG technical groups on the development of specifications and IT solutions for each commercial unit.

There are three subgroups within the SPG, each focusing on specific topics:

  • Non-Integrated Reservation Tickets (NRT), Chair: Karl Winkle, ÖBB
  • Integrated Reservation Tickets (IRT), Chair: Jaroslav Lučka, ZSSK
  • Night Train (NT), Chair: Zsuzsanna Selmeczi, MAV-START.

Non-Integrated Reservation Tickets (NRT) group objectives:

  • Align the objectives of participants with the overall NRT philosophy,
  • Keep in close contact with and seek the advice of CIT and CER concerning decisions on NRT-related matters,
  • Gather information and ensure active member participation on technical and commercial topics (ticketing, layout, commercial measures, etc.),
  • Draft recommendations for the current SCIC-NRT and the final version for publication,
  • Publication and follow-up of decisions and action points decided upon during working group meetings.

Integrated Reservation Ticket (IRT) group objectives:

  • Gather feedback and best practices from participating IRT railways,
  • Keep in close contact with and seek the advice of CIT and CER concerning decisions on IRT-related matters,
  • Gather information and ensure active member participation in respect of technical and commercial topics (ticketing, layout, commercial measures, etc.),
  • Review of the current SCIC-IRT,
  • Revision of Hermes codes,
  • Publication and follow-up of decisions and action points decided upon during working group meetings.

Night Train (NT) group objectives:

  • Developing conversations between operators and distributors,
  • Conversations on international night train travel in the context of Covid-19,
  • Strengthening commercial cooperation among operators and distributors.

Publications:

East-West Tariff (EWT)

Chair: Jan Vávra, ČD

This committee aims to organise tariffs and accounting between Eastern and Western European countries, given the differences in the systems, and aims to:

  • Ensure through-ticketing for passengers between railway undertakings which apply the CIV (Contract of International Carriage of Passengers by Rail) Uniform Rules and those which apply the Convention for International Passenger Transport SMPS (Agreement on International Passenger Traffic);
  • Achieve substantial harmonisation of the conditions of carriage and of sale thereby providing a suitable response to the increasingly competitive market environment; and
  • Draft recommendations for the SCIC (Special Conditions of International Carriage) - EWT as well as provisions for the issuing of tickets and accounting. In doing so it is necessary to consider updates made to the GCC (General Conditions of Carriage) -CIV/PRR and the SMPS.

Passenger Services Solutions (PSS)

Chair: Clemens Gantert, DB Systel

The Passenger Services Solutions oversees the development and maintenance of specifications for data exchange for the distribution of international rail tickets. The specifications for data exchange cover timetable enquiries, reservations, ticket inspection, etc.

In particular, the PSS maintains the specifications for the reservation interfaces (IRS 90918-1), the new specification for control data exchange (IRS 90918-4), and specifications for the booking of PRM assistance (IRS 90918-6).

IRS 90918-4 will be updated to accommodate changes with the new OSDM IRS 90918-10. The PSS provides support to the new OSDM group during IRS alignment processes.

The group works closely with the TLG and TSG groups and the commercial units to translate their requirements into solutions specific to each unit (IRT, NRT, NT and EWT). The PSS also coordinates with the ERA on the synchronisation of UIC IRSs with the TAP-TSI TD (Telematics Applications for Passengers – Technical Specifications for Interoperability Technical Documents).

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Ticket Security Group (TSG)

Chair: Kurt De Vriendt, Consilium

This group deals with the security features of international rail tickets. Rail tickets can be protected by Security in Paper (security background, defined by CIT), Security in Data (most often a 2D barcode), Security in System (reference to a contract on a server) or a combination of two or more of the above.

In 2018, TSG developed the Flexible Content Barcode (FCB) to allow multiple legs and passengers to be embedded in one unique FCB Barcode.

In 2021, TSG developed the new FCB with an elliptic curve encryption mechanism and a new double encryption to allow the inmotion barcode on screen. The public key management website is used to exchange public keys to enable ticket inspection on trains and to ensure that barcodes are not counterfeited.

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Publication:

Ticket Layout Group (TLG)

Chair: David Sarfatti, UIC

The Ticket Layout Group defines rail ticket layouts on CIT (International Rail Transport Committee) paper, blank paper (printat-home tickets) and on-screen display formats, and aims to:

  • Facilitate information and best practices exchange on rail ticketing between railways;
  • Discuss different fulfilment types, automatic vending machines, ticket paper, e-tickets, etc.;
  • Support members in the development of new ticketing and use of UIC standards;
  • Define new standards for use of new ticketing in Europe and synchronise UIC IRS 90918-8 and ERA TAP-TSI Technical Document B11; and
  • Provide source code and IT applications for the fulfilment or inspection of railway tickets.

In 2021, because of the new business possibilities offered by the FCB, the Ticket Layout Group developed the new Universal Rail Ticket (URT) layout to display all kinds of rail tickets on one piece of blank paper or on screen.

Publication:

Integration of intermodal transport projects

Chair: Luca Mariorenzi, Trenitalia, S.p.A

Better integration for door-to-door journeys (UIC D2D)
Integration between rail and other surface transportation services, such as local public transportation, buses, car sharing and bikes, is beneficial for all parties involved.

For rail companies, the main benefits include improving customer service, additional passenger volumes, encouraging modal shift, new ancillary revenue sources and the opportunity to evolve from a pure transport operator to a mobility service provider.

The project will enable rail companies to offer door-to-door journey packages through digitally-enabled ticketing, journey management and validation systems, and will leverage the growing adoption of account-based ticketing by transport providers.

Moreover, the project has defined guidelines and formats for the exchange of real-time data, including train tracking.

Common distribution with air transportation (UIC AIR+RAIL)
Integration between rail and air transportation provides several benefits to rail operators, including access to a global network of online and traditional travel agents, additional international sales opportunities and an increased market share in ground mobility solutions connecting to airports.

Following the UIC-IATA MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) in April 2020, the two organisations’ retail experts are collaborating closely to define common standards for technology platforms enabling the distribution systems for multimodal tickets and new business models for intermodal transport solutions.

The project increases awareness and member knowledge about Air+Rail intermodal integration, removing or mitigating major technical barriers and providing technical guidance and standards to facilitate integration, as well as technical solutions to accelerate adoption.

The project facilitates the establishment of multiple partnerships between airlines and rail companies enabling airlines to offer Air+Rail journeys through any sales channel (website, mobile, GDS, OTA, etc.).

Innovation Platform

Chair: Luca Mariorenzi, Trenitalia, S.p.A

Each year, PSG organises a focus on innovation, as a specific working group within which all PSG members are invited to contribute to specific workshops on the following topics:

Passenger services digitalisation:

  • Transforming the passenger experience through digital technologies and omnichannel strategies
  • Technological developments in travel planning and shopping
  • Digital payments
  • Technological developments in the station and rail journey experience
  • Ongoing UIC initiatives

Blockchain:

  • Introduction to blockchain technology
  • Potential benefits and challenges of blockchain
  • Examples and use cases in transportation and other industries
  • Potential applications in passenger rail
  • Loyalty applications
  • Mobility-as-a-Service
  • Online travel agencies and distributor provisioning

Intermodality:

  • Integration of passenger rail and air transport: case studies
  • New distribution capabilities and transformation of airline distribution
  • Technological developments and new opportunities for air and rail integration
  • Integration of rail and other surface transport modes: case studies
  • Technological developments and new opportunities for integration with ground transportation
  • The Mobility-as-a-Service paradigm

Artificial Intelligence:

  • How artificial intelligence is transforming the travel industry
  • How big data analytics and data science help meet travellers’ needs
  • Virtual assistants and conversational interfaces: technological developments and applications
  • Examples and use cases in transportation and other industries
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Monday 29 April 2019