Developing an Alpine-wide approach towards integration and decarbonization of public transport

Basic information:

Cross-border aspect. Specific needs of tourists.

Specific challenges to provide user-friendly public transport solutions in remote areas.

Reducing car-dependency by shifting to public transport solutions will be a core task for decarbonizing passenger transport in the Alps. Activities and projects on modal shift for passengers however need to recognize the specific challenges in the Alps, especially related to cross-border mobility as well as mobility needs in remote regions. Also, the different needs of local citizens and tourists need to be considered, especially regarding easily accessible information. To ensure that public transport is in-line with the climate-neutral and climate-resilient Alps vision, public transport solutions should also, as far as possible, build on low-carbon technologies (e.g., electric buses, electrified or hydrogen railways).

Sequence of implementation steps:

Youth Alpine Interrail is a project of the CIPRA Youth Council and CIPRA International, in cooperation with Eurail and promoted by the signatory States of the Alpine Convention. It enables 100 selected young people (ages 16-27) to travel sustainably across the Alps by means of public transport for 50-80 euros for one month in the summers of 2018 and 2019. This approach will be continued until the a broader approach for a new mobility ticket in the Alps is proposed (see step 2b)

Based on the results of the AlpInfoNet as well as the Linking Alps project which has the objective to develop an integrated information system on public transport and alternative mobility solutions, there will be a need for further developing this system into a fully integrated information and ticketing system for the overall Alpine Space. Especially, the aspect of integrated ticketing will be a high added value to provide attractive alternative transport solutions.

With the help of the regional mobility coordinators (see transport pathway 2) the information and ticketing system will be integrated into local and regional mobility plans and communication strategies. This will also include a coordination of the information & ticketing system with parking space pricing, park-and-ride solutions, etc. The mobility coordinators will promote the information on the national and regional systems towards private stakeholders (e.g., links to companies or tourism destinations).

To increase the acceptance and use of public transport, especially regarding cross-border mobility as well as tourism mobility, an Alpine-wide approach for new mobility tickets is explored: e.g., temporal flat-rate tickets for commuters or tourists, discounted multiple trip tickets which can be used in overall Alpine-wide public transport network, etc.

These mobility tickets should be targeted at actual mobility needs and should avoid the creation of unwanted additional traffic volumes due to wrong incentive structures.

The public transport fleet in the Alps needs to build on best-available technologies, especially electric mobility solutions or alternative fuels. This however requires additional funding to support operators to renew their vehicle fleet. A coordination of funding schemes at regional and national level (e.g., regarding funding rates, requirements, etc.) could support the renewal of the vehicle fleet and develop the Alpine region into a model region for the take-up of low-carbon public transport fleet (e.g., testing electric buses under difficult topographical conditions).

Further Information:

  • Transport operators, transport associations/authorities
  • Municipalities (-> ALPACA network)
  • National authorities
  • Implementation of an Alpine wide information and integrated ticketing system for public transport
  • All public transport vehicles (road and rail) are powered by alternative fuels/electric mobility.
  • Information system: number of regional transport information and ticketing systems which are integrated in the platform
  • Information system: number of users/number of search queries/number of bookings via the information system
  • Transport fleet: number of public transport vehicles/rolling stock which are changed into vehicles powered by alternative fuels/year
  • LINKING ALPS (new project Alpine Space Programme on developing an integrated multimodal information system)
  • Mobility solutions in the Alps Database (stock-taking No. 33)
  • AlpInfoNet project (stock-taking No. 44)
  • Alpine Pearls (stock-taking No. 47)
  • MELINDA – Mobility Ecosystem for Low-carbon and INnovative moDal shift in the Alps (stock-taking No. 81)
  • Yoalin: Youth Alpine Interrail
  • E-moticon and e-Smart projects (Alpine Space programme)
  • Several initiatives on national and regional level




Transport is one of the main causes for climate change in the Alps, almost 30% of all CO 2 -emissions are due to passenger and freight transport. The largest share of Alpine transport emissions is due to long-distance freight transport which can only be decarbonized in a common approach – hand-in- hand with partners at regional, national and European level and with the relevant stakeholders in the transport sector. Similarly, modal shift strategies for passenger transport need to recognize the specific challenges in the Alps as related to cross-border mobility, mobility needs in remote regions as well as specific demand patterns related to tourism traffic.