2018 was a good year for EU Transport

By Tom Nokes / Updated: 12 Mar 2019

In 2018, a number of EU mobility actions come to fruition as a result of effective cooperation and the continuation of work across more than one mandate.

A statement by Transport Commissioner Bulc, presented the year's achievements, which are summarised below:

Connecting and inspiring

  • European Mobility Week broke all records with almost 2 800 cities participating in 54 countries. See how your city participated here
  • As part of the Discover EU initiative, 29 500 young people received a travel pass to explore Europe’s diversity and cultural richness.  A third round of applications will open in summer 2019.
  • 31 countries from across Europe participated in European Day without a Road Death (EDWARD) 2018. On the day, 50 people sadly lost their lives, compared to an average of 70 fatalities per day.  

More innovation, more benefits

  • A one-stop shop for planning and payment for multimodal trips was introduced: faster, cost-efficient, with improved environmental performance.
  • An EU-funded around-the-neck airbag for bikers was put on the market: safer, better coverage, reduced concussion risk and almost no risk of skull fracture (first 130 000 used in 2018).
  • Nine test projects were launched as part of the U-space demonstrator network for safe, secure and sustainable use of drones, based on the new European aviation safety rules.

Improved safety

  • Aviation: new EU rules to better support the mental fitness of aircrew were introduced. This comes as a follow-up to the Germanwings Flight 9525 crash. The rules include a support programme, alcohol testing and psychological assessments for aircrews.
  • Road: all new vehicles equipped with 112 eCall safety system in all Member States. The system helps saves lives by improving the crash emergency response time by 40- 50%.
  • Maritime: European Maritime Safety Agency helped prevent a major ecological disaster by containing a 50km oil spill from a vessel collision in the Mediterranean thanks to Copernicus images and oil recovery vessels.

‘Vision Zero’ – no pollution in action

  • Aviation: decreased emissions/km by 40% vs. 1992; new A330neo with leap engine uses 25% less fuel. With new technologies, we gained an additional 36 seconds, and cut kerosene consumption by 5kg per flight.
  • Maritime: zero-emission ferries powered by batteries were introduced between Denmark and Sweden, resulting in noise reduction and 50% less emissions (4km length carrying more than 7.4 million passengers and 1.9 million vehicles annually) .
  • Road: 140 466 (an increase of 10% vs 2017) new charging points (7 387 fast charging – an increase of 26% vs 2017). The installed recharging points/stations are located a maximum distance of 80km apart and are publicly accessible 24/7 (241 multi-standard fast chargers in Germany, 37 in Belgium – FAST-E project).
  • Railways: new high-speed rail network deployed: 8 434km (an increase of 10% between 2016 and 2017)

Enhanced services

  • Rail: Ljubljana-Trieste-Venice twice-daily passenger service re-established after 10 years. Great cross-border cooperation linking two Member States along the Mediterranean and Baltic-Adriatic Core Network Corridors, accommodating 272 passengers and bicycles. Athens-Thessaloniki high-speed railway: journey 2.5 hours shorter when fully deployed.
  • Road: new highway connection between Vienna and Brno. It removed bottlenecks, improved road safety and shortened travel time by 10 minutes
  • Urban mobility: New traffic management system in the Lyon urban area with real transport data for citizens: 10% reduction in congestion for 100% of the travel time is now guaranteed.

Social Agenda

  • First concrete actions launched by the Women in Transport - EU Platform for Change (20 events). Early champions: Swiss Railways set up The Diversity & Inclusion Council, which will, among other objectives, work to uncover invisible barriers for women in terms of career and potential development within the company; EasyJet launched the Amy Johnson Flying Initiative: 20% female new entrant cadet pilots by 2020.
  • Maritime Stakeholders signed a Blueprint for Cooperation to upgrade skills for seafarers and prepare them for future jobs, matching the demands arising from the digital transformation.

General Statistics on Transport in the EU economy – latest statistics released in 2018 (referring to 2016)

  • Transport represents 9% of EU Gross Value Added.
  • Responsible for 20 million direct jobs - 9% of total EU employment.
  • 2.1 million companies involved in transport.
  • The EU exported motor vehicles, rail rolling stock, planes and ships of a total value of €295 billion. This represents 17% of the EU’s total goods exports in 2016. The EU exported transport services worth €146 billion, which represents 17% of the EU’s total service exports.
  • The number of passengers in the EU increased by 3.2% (2016 vs 2015), reaching 423 million passengers travelling by rail, 973 million by air, 397 million by sea.
  • Freight transport increased by 4.5% (2016 vs 2015) reaching 3 661 billion tonne-km.
  • EU Transport total investment in 2018 amounted to €20.3 billion.

To read the full statement, click here.

Urban mobility planning
Scheme appraisal
Mobility management