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Challenges for urban transport policy after the Covid-19 pandemic: Main findings from a survey in 20 European cities

transport policy

A paper co-authored by TRT was published online by Transport Policy. The article is based on the outcome of an extensive survey managed by TRT on behalf of the JRC Sevilla of the European Commission in 20 cities across 11 European countries during the second quarter of 2021, with a total of 10000 respondents. The survey explored the changes in transport and mobility patterns that were triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as citizens’ potential new expectations arising from this situation regarding public transport policy and urban planning. The information collected covered the change in the frequency of technology-based alternatives to travel -such as teleworking and online shopping-compared to the pre-pandemic period. It also included the change in trip frequency, purpose, mode and destination. Using the survey dataset as input, a classification model was applied to explain the change in mode choice based on the respondent characteristics and preferences. Findings suggest that the changes in mobility patterns induced by the pandemic are the result of the combination of the degree of mobility restrictions imposed in each city, the adoption of new lifestyle and work patterns, and individual choices that depend on personal risk aversion.

SUMP Topic Guide on Planning for Attractive Public Transport

planning for attractive public transport - Topic guide

We are pleased to announce today’s publication of the new SUMP Topic Guide on Planning for Attractive Public Transport, for which TRT is the main author.

Public transport should be regarded as a challenge to be made more attractive and resilient, through the design of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs).

Urban planners need to go beyond “business as usual” to achieve a tangible modal shift away from private vehicles, towards public transportation. This is a necessary step in the fight to reducing emissions and tackling global warming.

To support urban planners and transport practitioners in this process, this SUMP Topic Guide has been developed by the second Policy Support Group of the CIVITAS ELEVATE Coordination and Support Action, with the involvement of five experts from selected organisations (International Association of Public Transport – UITP, European Passengers Federation – EPF, Technical University of Berlin – TUB, City of Gdynia, Gothenburg Transport Operator), the chair of the CIVITAS Policy Advisory Committee, TRT and 12 stakeholders from the urban mobility sector.

It provides guidance on public transport in the mobility planning and implementation process, in order to achieve more attractive public transport.

The Topic Guide is part of a compendium of EU guidance documents, complementing the revised second edition of the SUMP Guidelines.

Read the publication here. This and other SUMP Topic Guides can be accessed via the Eltis website here.


SUMP Topic guide on safe use of micromobility devices in urban areas


TRT is happy to announce today’s publication of the new SUMP Topic Guide on the safe use of micromobility devices, for which TRT is the main author.

The SUMP (Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans) Topic Guide has been published alongside the new Urban Mobility Framework of the European Commission. It is the key result from the first Policy Support Group (PSG) of the CIVITAS ELEVATE Coordination and Support Action, with TRT as lead and contributions from 5 experts from selected organisations (TRL, ETSC, POLIS, the City of Paris and the City of Helsinki), the chair of the CIVITAS Policy Advisory Committee (City of Antwerp), BUAS (Breda University of Applied Sciences) and three observers from the cycling and e-sooters sectors.

TRT put its extensive experience of the sector into this new Topic Guide and provided new insights into dealing with one of today’s challenging mobility trend. The Topic Guide focuses on micromobility in the SUMP planning and implementation process and is part of a compendium of EU guidance documents, complementing the revised second edition of the SUMP Guidelines.

The Topic Guide proposes best practice and key recommendations on the integration of micromobility in urban mobility planning, with the goal to support cities in achieving a safer use of micromobility devices in urban areas. It also supports the European Commission in delivering Action 22 of the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy. It focuses on shared electrically powered personal mobility devices such as e-scooters and provides some guidance on how the users of these vehicles interact with the users of bicycles and electric power assisted cycles (EPACs), as well as pedestrians and other road users.

An analysis of the regulatory and policy framework to support MaaS, in the new issue of Smart City and Mobility Lab

The article “Mobility-as-a-Service: regulations and recommendations” has been published in the MMYY edition of Smart City and Mobility Lab. Based on the extensive research activity and the experiences from three pilot projects (Manchester, Budapest, Luxembourg) developed within the research project MaaS4EU, the article discusses the regulatory, technological and policy elements that are key for the growth and development of the MaaS market.

Read here (only in italian).

The costs of freight transport during the Covid-19 pandemic

An article on freight transport during the Covid-19 pandemic was published in the July/August 2021 issue of Il Giornale della Logistica. Starting from the activity carried out by TRT on behalf of the Bank of Italy, which involves a constant monitoring of the costs of international freight transport to/from Italy, the article proposes an analysis of the trends that characterized 2020 with a focus on different transport modes: road, rail, air, sea.

Read here (only in italian).





Survey on International Merchandise Transport – 2020

Indagine sui trasporti Banca d'Italia

This paper presents the results of the survey on international freight transport carried by TRT for Bank of Italy (the central bank of Italy) in 2020, as part of the compilation of the national balance of payments.

Based on the sample surveys carried by TRT since 1998, the paper describes the key costs trends in the Italian freight transport sector. In 2020 TRT interviewed about 210 international freight operators from different transport segments and collected data on over 6.200 shipments, namely on freight rates and ancillary costs between different origins and destinations. s part of the compilation of the national balance of payments. For the statistics of the balance of payments, moreover, TRT estimates the market shares of freight carriers by nationality.

During 2020, the incidence of transport costs on the value of goods exported to and imported from Italy increased, reversing the downward trend observed in the previous years. The transport sector has been inevitably affected by the Covid-19 emergency. The air transport sector suffered most due to a drop in passenger flights, leading to a severe shortage of “belly” capacity and a sharp increase in freight rates. In the maritime sector, significant price increases were observed in the container, ro-ro and liquid bulk sectors. As for land transport, transport costs slightly increased in the rail sector and slightly decreased in the road sector.

Link to the project page.

Download the full report (only available in Italian)


Evaluation of the White Paper ‘Roadmap to a single European transport area – towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system’

Final report Evaluation of 2011 Transport White Paper

The 2011 Transport White Paper “Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system” is the document with which the European Commission has outlined the strategy on the future EU transport system and which defines the political agenda for the next decades.

The main objectives of the strategy are (i) reduce carbon dioxide emissions in transport to a level that is 60 % below that of 1990; (ii) reduce the transport sector’s dependence on oil; (iii) reduce congestion growth.

The strategy is articulated through 40 action points and 132 initiatives aimed at achieving 10 operational targets at different time horizons (2030 and 2050).

TRT, member of the consortium led by Ricardo NL and participated by M-Five, E3Modelling and TEPR was responsible for carrying out the mid-term evaluation of the effectiveness of the strategy in order to support the European Commission in identifying any proposals for revising the document.

The evaluation provides a robust evidence-based assessment of the White Paper and the actions following from it since its adoption in 2011. It examines the effectiveness, efficiency, coherence, relevance and EU added value of the White Paper in line with the Better Regulation Guidelines.

The evaluation looks at the identified needs for transport policy, the objectives and goals set in the White Paper, the proposed initiatives, reached outcomes and their results, as well as the overall impact of the strategy since it was put in place.

The results of the evaluation are intended to inform subsequent decisions of the Commission on possible priorities for the future agenda of EU transport policy.

Link to the project page.

Download the full report


COG-LO Project on “Il Giornale della Logistica”

Giornale della logistica

TRT has published a new article (available only in italian) about Logistics 4.0 and the interesting insights form the COG-LO Project where concepts as “collaborative” and “cognitive” logistics has been deeply investigated with the support of international organizations and logistics providers such as Ekol Logistics, Croatia and Slovenia Post.

Please have a look on the COG-LO Project and find out more on our website page or on the official website.

Evaluation of EU regulation on TEN-T rail freight corridors

19p20 RFC-Evaluation cover

The evaluation support study of Regulation (EU) No 913/2010, coordinated by TRT on behalf of the European Commission Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, covered all the provisions of the Regulation, all the European countries participating in a Rail Freight Corridor (RFC) and addressed the period from the establishment of the RFCs until 2020.

The study identified the impact of the Regulation by comparing the actual developments in the rail freight sector, i.e. with the Regulation in place, with respect to a baseline situation describing the likely developments that would have occurred without this policy intervention. The study also took into account the activities related to the RFCs going beyond the provisions of the Regulation, addressing for instance technical and operational interoperability along the RFCs. Furthermore, the study covered the activities of the rail sector undertaken in the period of analysis and contributing to the objectives of the Regulation.

TRT was responsible for the design of the evaluation, the definition of an evaluation baseline, the analysis of the stakeholders consultation, the analysis of the effectiveness and efficiency of the Regulation and the estimation of costs and benefits from the implementation.

Link to the project page.

 Download the full report


The Future European Energy System

The future energy system in Europe needs to be decarbonized and thus be based almost exclusively on renewable energy sources. Therefore it is challenged by the intermittent nature of renewables and requires several flexibility options. The interaction between different options and the impact on environment and society are in the focus of this contribution. It has been the core objective of the Reflex research project funded by the H2020 EU research programme and is reflected in the book “The Future European Energy System – Renewable Energy, Flexibility Options and Technological Progress” appjust published by SpringerNature.

The book analyzes the transition toward a low-carbon energy system in Europe under the aspects of flexibility and technological progress. By covering the main energy sectors – including the industry, residential, tertiary and transport sector as well as the heating and electricity sector – the analysis assesses flexibility requirements in a cross-sectoral energy system with high shares of renewable energies. The authors apply models and tools from various research fields, including techno-economic learning, fundamental energy system modeling, and environmental and social life cycle as well as health impact assessment, to develop an innovative and comprehensive energy models system (EMS). Moreover, the contributions examine renewable penetrations and their contributions to climate change mitigation, and the impacts of available technologies on the energy system.