Modal shift: the moment of truth. Main takeaways and lessons learnt from the European year of rail

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Series Details 2022/11, Number 11
Publication Date 2022
ISBN 9789294661500
ISSN 2467-4540


The shift to rail is one of the main pillars of the EU strategy to reach its ambitious European Green Deal objectives in transport and has thus ranked highly on its agenda during the past year: the European Year of Rail 2021.

However, data shows that modal shift is not happening at the desired pace. Rail passenger traffic remains mostly domestic, with only 7% of it crossing borders in 2018, whereas the modal share of rail in freight transport even decreased from 18.8% to 18.7% between 2015 and 2018, with significant differences between countries (Rail Market Monitoring, 2021). On a positive note, the European Year of Rail has been instrumental in bringing to light the various regulatory and technical challenges to operating cross-border freight and passenger rail services.

Against this backdrop, our 2nd Florence Rail Regulation Conference brought together leading academics, industry experts and public officials in evaluating existing policies and analysing new proposals to accelerate modal shift in both the passenger and freight segments.

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