The European Commission has published the Transport Intermodality Task Force action plan guidelines. These are as follows: 1. Introduction and objectives The Transport Intermodality Task Force action plan guidelines are based on the issues outlined in the terms of reference. They take account of submissions received from the relevant international organizations. The aim of the action plan is to identify the priority issues and the detailed objectives to be addressed as well as the steps to be undertaken and the resources necessary to achieve them within a clear time frame. It is intended to reflect a practical synthesis of transport, industrial and research policies. Research for its own sake is to be avoided in favour of the pursuit of demonstrable, implementable, cost-effective results. In this context, and in accordance with the "Terms of Reference", the Task Force will centre its activity on the definition of a coherent research, technological development and demonstration (RTD) strategy designed to bring about significant improvements in the overall effectiveness of the intermodal transport system and enhance the competitiveness of the European intermodal passenger and freight industry. Transport operators and users, including the general public, must be shown convincingly that intermodality is a valid and cost-effective option. 2 Scope of Activities The activities of the Task Force will cover the following main subject areas: 2.1 Overview of the Intermodal Transport Market Overview of the main political, business and social issues underlying the evolution of the intermodal transport market. This includes a review of the challenges that face the relevant actors - equipment suppliers, operators, authorities, customers -and of the trends resulting from the implementation of Community policies, the market structure, the evolving mobility needs and the drive towards more environmentally friendly operations. 2.2 Potential Strategies for Market Penetration and Consolidation Identification of the spectrum of political, financial, regulatory and industrial instruments capable of enabling the development of effective strategies for consolidation of existing markets and the penetration of new ones. The main aims are to enhance the capability of the intermodal industry to provide a better cost-effective customer service. 2.3 Strategic Technology Acquisition Requirements Against the background outlined in the previous paragraphs, critical assessment of the main technological issues which are to be tackled to reach significant step-changes in the effectiveness of the intermodal transport system and in the capability of the intermodal industry. 2.4 A Strategic RTD Action Plan An action plan for intermodal RTD based on technology acquisition needs should address aspects such as the coordination of relevant RTD work at Community and Member State level, the clustering of activities that can establish a prioritized programme of high added-value technology demonstration projects and planning of additional RTD activities if gaps are identified in ongoing or planned research activities. The implementation routes will include consideration of other relevant Community instruments. A coherent framework of RTD actions should be identified, which detail the following: - Objectives of the work; - Identification of the key issues to be addressed; - Potential participants; - Main deliverables and timescale; - Estimation of necessary resources; - Accompanying measures leading to a wide dissemination and exploitation of the specific RTD results. 2.5 Issues to be addressed The development of the action plan should be based on the needs of the freight and passenger transport market. All RTD activities should be guided by a close cooperation between all the different actors involved. Therefore the Task Force will welcome inputs from individual experts, public or private undertakings as well as the relevant international organizations. Priority will have to be given to a limited number of issues, so that efforts can be concentrated on those which offer the greatest prospect of progress and in which demonstrations can be mounted within the required time frame, notably to issues related to the "market", to "technology" and to "infrastructure". Examples of such issues, common to both freight and passenger transport, could be information provision and exchange and the design of transfer points including the links with their service area. Specific examples for intermodal freight transport could be transfer technology (including low-tech solutions) and improvement in quality of service and market conditions. For passenger transport the example of multimodal ticketing should be mentioned. The action plan will address the areas of difficulties identified, with the aim of producing concrete proposals capable of practical application and implementation aimed at achieving perceptible business improvements. The action plan should define in detail further RTD actions and demonstration projects which will show the accessibility and performance potential of door-to-door intermodal transport services. The action plan should incorporate relevant aspects of the work of other Task Forces and provide input to other transport-related Task Forces to ensure interoperability and interconnectivity. Demonstration projects could be included in the action plan so as to achieve the largest possible beneficial spin-off effects on intermodal transportation services. They should be capable of being seen and used on a very wide basis. They should, therefore, focus on operations and activities with clear economic potential on the one hand and sustainable mobility effects on the other. They may be taken from present practice and experience and may draw upon the substantial body of research already undertaken or currently in progress. 2.6 Accompanying Measures Coverage of the activities which might facilitate the uptake of results in the market, including training, education and technology transfer. It also covers the need for pre-normative research providing a basis for the development of a sound regulatory framework enabling a reduction in lead time between technological development and market consolidation. As a further support measure, European intermodal networks or associations for freight and passengers, representative of all interested parties, might be promoted in order to stimulate professional discussion and to support coordination of interests by private enterprises and public authorities. 3. Organizational structure and implementation of activities The Task Force will be composed of a core group of officials from the different Commission Services with an interest in intermodal transport RTD. In close consultation with the main interested parties, the Task Force should diagnose the main strategic challenges and the contribution RTD activities may provide in devising effective responses to market needs. This overall perspective should serve as a basis for the definition and implementation of a coherent action plan based on a limited set of priority, high added-value, technology demonstration activities. It is proposed that the work of the Task Force should be supported through a flexible and adaptive organizational framework, based on the structure of a High Level group and, where appropriate, working groups of technical experts. The action plan has to evolve in compliance with the objectives and management procedures of the Fourth Framework Programme. Four distinct phases are foreseen: - Phase I Coordination of relevant on-going activities: bringing together, under a coordinating framework, research projects which are relevant to the themes selected for technology demonstration. - Phase II Aggregation of planned activities: through targeted and coordinated calls for research proposals addressing the selected themes, clustering the relevant activities under the various specific programmes. - Phase III Extension via supplementary funding: through additional resources that may become available at either Community or national level to reinforce the Community actions, notably in terms of gap-filling activities, technology integration and full-scale demonstration. - Phase IV Recommendations: for new target-oriented RTD scenarios and implementation routes that could be included in the Fifth Framework Programme. 4. Timetable and Deliverables. - Diagnosis report identifying the main political, business, technical and social issues underlying the evolution of intermodal transport, and the enabling effect of strategic technology acquisition in the mainstream development of the sector (before end November 95). - Inventory of intermodal RTD activities currently on-going or planned at Community and Member State level, including those actions promoted under the TENs, the various Information Society initiatives and within the framework of EUREKA (before end November 95). - Detailed outline of the proposed priority projects, including quantification of objectives - based on performance, life-cycle-cost, safety or environmental impact considerations - main expected deliverables, timescales, identification of potential participants, and estimation of necessary resources is expected before the end of December 1995. - Implementation plan for the targeted actions, encompassing two main phases: a start-up phase on the basis of clustering of current and planned activities within the Fourth Framework Programme; an extension phase through additional measures that may develop on the basis of complementary RTD and structural funding, or financial engineering operations. This is expected before the end of February 1996. - Elaboration of recommendations for the Fifth Framework Programme will be available before the end of February 1996. A more detailed overview of the international associations' suggestions is as follows: Optimization of the contribution of each individual mode of transport and of ports and airports. Identification of technological bottlenecks in single mode technologies. In the development of intermodal activities, the combination of the different transport modes (including air and sea transport) will be particularly important. 2. Infrastructure and networks: Promotion of the better use, of existing infrastructure. Criteria for the development of new intermodal infrastructure, notably that which forms part of the trans-European transport networks. Design and location of transfer points (including ports and airports), aiming at a low transfer resistance. The ease of intermodal transfer is a key issue as well as the links between a transfer point and its service area. Major emphasis will be placed on the location of terminals and the use of fast transhipment facilities (robotics). 3. Standardization, harmonization and regulation. Potential for equipment standardization taking account of international agreements (e.g. ISO). Harmonization and standardization at system interfaces, e.g. information given to travellers, real time information given to cargo owners. Implementation of EDIFACT standards in EDI messages. 4. Legal and institutional framework. Establishment of fair competition between constituent elements of an intermodal system. Changes needed in the structure and/or practices of specific transport industries in order to optimize their contribution to intermodal transport systems. Assessment of the mechanisms and organizational frameworks to overcome problems arising from varying ownership and control of different modes, with different responsibilities and objectives. Assessment of the possibilities for a common basis for tariff calculation, insurance's etc. 5. Economic environment. Fair allocation of infrastructure and external costs between modes. Tax regimes and return of investment. Decrease in the break-even point for the use of intermodal transport. 6. Environmental and energy impact. Improvement of air quality, reductions in the levels of noise, airborne emissions and contamination of soil. Development of energy-saving systems particularly in the urban context for both passengers and freight movements, and in long distance goods transport. 7. Transfer technology. Development, demonstration and validation of new technologies, equipment and systems for the transfer of goods, enabling intermodal transport to become more flexible and competitive through saving time and reducing costs. 8. Information technology and telematics tools Improvement of the quality of service by introducing and integrating appropriate telematics systems, in particular for cargo tracking and tracing, booking and ticketing systems and traveller and freight information. Promising developments here are the so-called 'Personal Traveller Assistant' and the multimodal information systems, which are supported by the Transport part of the Telematics Applications Programme. 9. Marketing intermodal transport services (including pricing). Development of improved strategies for market acceptance, e.g. marketing facilities and awareness strategies. Establishment of integrated fare and payment systems. Assessment of the conditions for new companies to enter the intermodal market. 10. Impact of new technologies: Assessment of the potential contribution of new technologies including those not specifically designed for transport purposes (e.g. GNSS). 11. Needs of travellers, freight operators, customers and public authorities. Increases in speed, frequencies, reliability and number of network connections. Coordination of timetables, to guarantee a successful transfer without delay. Demand responsive passenger transport systems, whereby, for instance, after arriving at a railway station, one has immediate access to a city car for local driving.