Eurobarometer: 71% of Europeans in favour of more competition in national and regional rail
71% of EU citizens support the opening of their national and regional rail systems to competition. The total support is above 60% in all but two Member States (Netherlands and Luxembourg). 78% of EU citizens think that more competition will be good for passengers.
According to a special Eurobarometer survey, less than half of Europeans are satisfied with their railway systems (46%) - although satisfaction has improved since 1997 (41%). The level of satisfaction varies from 67% in Finland to 18% in Bulgaria. Satisfaction is overall quite low in the Member States of central and south-eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece).
For most Europeans, the opening to competition will have a positive influence on ticket prices (72%), quality of services to passengers on the trains (71%), comfort and cleanliness of trains (70%), frequency of trains (68%), punctuality of trains (66%), the way railway companies are managed (63%) and the number of stations or routes which will be served (62%).
The absolute majorities of Europeans expect that more competition in the rail market will be good for individual stakeholders, such us passengers (78%), private rail operators (68%) and employees of rail transport operators (55%).
Finally, 70% of EU citizens wish that competition leads to "no-frills" rail services like those of low-cost airlines and 43% wish the development of premium services (meals, films, newspapers, etc.). Also, almost two-thirds (65%) of Europeans wish for more ways of buying tickets (e.g. online, via smartphones, or on board).