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Project Context

The EU has established policy goals to achieve more sustainable transport systems.

The complexity of meeting mobility needs of all citizens requires a clearer vision and an effective and coordinated governance approach. It is important for policy makers and local governments to coordinate competences among different stakeholders at different levels within a clear and proper policy framework.

In order to increase transport sustainability, with specific actions on public transport, different approaches were already adopted, among which the establishment of specific authorities. These authorities, Public Transport Authorities (PTAs) or Organising Authorities (OAs), act in the public interest and ensure a well-functioning integrated transport system within their territory, but competencies and tasks are often different, making it difficult to identify a successful MODEL.

PTA as entity can be centralised (office in the local government) or decentralised (separate public owned company) depending on political choice.

Project Proposal

The EPTA proposal aims at increasing public transport sustainability focusing on environmental, energy and economic aspects, through the identification of a MODEL of PTA as a powerful tool of governance.

As a strategy the use of 3 leverages such as Quality, Efficiency and Efficacy will be applied to the 7 key activities related to public transport sector governance:

1. Regulation to be performed in close cooperation with the Local Government to allow the fulfillment of guidelines given by policy-makers

2. Planning which has a deep impact on transport services and is strongly linked to and influenced by other planning processes such as economic, social and urban planning

3. Tendering and Awarding procedures are crucial. A skilled PTA can establish criteria and grounds for fruitful cooperation with operators based on quality, effectiveness and efficiency

4. Integration is a strategic issue where an optimal mix of inter- and co-modal policies leads to more sustainable transport

5. Promotion of public transport is a key tool to increase awareness and foster the shift from individual to collective, more efficient and sustainable modes of transport

6. Management of transport service contracts requires experience and flexibility: only from the first day of entry into force of a contract onwards, a PTA starts acquiring experience to improve the next tender procedure

7. Control and monitoring is a delicate issue for a PTA. The cost of these activities should be reasonable, and added value to end users should be proven.

Regulate, Plan, Tender/Award, Integrate, Promote, Manage, Control. The key concept is that these 7 activities should be concentrated in a single body able to support policy makers and involve relevant stakeholders.

Good practices across Europe will be identified, collected and transferred into regional development policies, to produce, as final result, a transferable and customizable MODEL to be adopted for the successful implementation or re-organization of a PTA.

Project Objective

The main objective of the EPTA Project is to become a useful tool of the INTERREG IVC Programme for promoting and consolidating new approaches for the establishment of PTAs as convergence centres of expertise.

The sub objectives of the project are the following:

Exchanging knowledge in the field of PTAs for enhancing the efficiency of public transport services and the overall sustainability by reducing energy consumption and environmental impact, promoting a better use of resources and increasing the social cohesion of disadvantaged areas and/or citizens

Overcoming the lack of coordination in public transport sector governance, collecting and transferring of well consolidated experiences and good practices of virtuous cooperation among different actors

Knowledge raising both through analytical studies of the local needs and of the possible solutions in order to allow the different partners to identify the most appropriate PTA MODEL for local needs

Delivering a Case Studies Collection and a Position Paper & Guidelines on the creation of pre-conditions for an effective establishment and organization of a PTA to improve transport sustainability, reduce the energy impacts, promote better use of economic resources and increase the social cohesion

Promoting and disseminating at local, regional and European level the concept, approach and results of the PTA MODEL as a real component of the overall area/region transport chain as a governance coordination tool.

EPTA will be a network in close contact with other existing networks working on the same issues such as UITP, EMTA and POLIS to share approaches and solutions adopted.

EPTA will furthermore deal with implementing the horizontal mainstreaming of EU policies (Lisbon and Gothenburg goals will guide the project) at local, regional and networks level, giving at the same time a feedback to the EU Institutions on how the main European policies are performed at local level.

Project Activities

Aimed at a successful transfer of knowledge and good practices related to Public Transport Authorities (PTAs), efficient capacity building and positive impact on local policies, EPTA will engage in 7 activities:

Activity 1. Identification and analysis of good practices concerning the Public Transport Authorities 7 key functions (EPTA Model)

Activity 2. Feasibility studies to evaluate and simulate the implementation of the PTA concept in the partner regions and cities

Activity 3. Cross-evaluation of the feasibility studies, to assess impacts of the studies for each site, and at cross-site level

Activity 4. Development of implementation plans describing local take-up of EPTA results and enhanced PTA activity

Activity 5. Development of policy tools, namely PTA guidelines and the EPTA position paper

Activity 6. Organisation of training courses, thematic workshops and staff exchanges specifically devoted to increase the knowledge and support the adoption of good practices in the perspective of PTAs establishment across Europe. These events will be open to the public

Activity 7. Communication and dissemination of results.