ERFA welcomes the European Parliaments proposal to offer a free InterRail pass to young Europeans as an opportunity for the Single European Railway area.
ERFA, representing new entrants from the freight and passenger sector, believes that free InterRail pass for young Europeans is an essential project to encourage youths mobility, contributing to create a common European identity.
As the European Commission is ready to explore the idea, ERFA would like to highlight that InterRail ticket for young European can be a good opportunity to achieve and promote an open and innovative Single European Railway Area.
In an open rail market, all passenger rail operators, including new entrants, need to be fully integrated in the InterRail project in order to reflect the diversity of railways and passenger experiences at both cross-border and domestic levels.
Where new entrants have entered the passenger rail market, they have generated new traffic for rail services and pushed forward innovation.
Therefore, InterRail needs to welcome them on-board in order to give the chance for young passengers to seize all opportunities offered by an open European rail market. It will also demonstrate how a competitive rail sector can deliver good passenger experiences.
ERFA urges the European Commission and Eurail to allow all operators to join the scheme on a fair and equitable basis without delay and not to shut out new entrants from the free InterRail pass project, as they represent a growing part of the rail market and bring benefits for the whole rail sector.
ERFA is convinced that the free InterRail pass for Young people can be a unique opportunity to promote an open, quality-focused and sustainable rail sector.