An EU-wide literature review shows that administrative rather than EU or national legal obstacles matter most for establishing and providing cross-border public transport services that meet the demand of citizens in the border areas. These obstacles are mostly rooted in a lack of coordination between existing services, a lack of harmonisation of fares and ticketing systems or a lack of willingness or ability of national authorities to support solutions that allow for effective CBPT services in border areas. Structural differences also matter, whether they are due to asymmetric public responsibilities, different transport operator structures, different administrative cultures, or a lack of local and regional authorities’ capacities.
Nevertheless, administrative obstacles hampering targeted CBPT service provision frequently exist together with other challenges. These may be a combination of different administrative obstacle or due to the legal framework or they may be rooted in supply-side or quality issues such as inadequate infrastructure, a lack of information or the absence of harmonised connections. All these problems either hamper CBPT service provision or at least affect its quality or scope, thus having a negative impact on the quality of life of people and on the socio-economic development of border areas.
In the next update, we will provide insights into possible solutions that may mitigate these obstacles.