CONNECTBALTICA is a macro-regional initiative and academic forum for sea, road and rail transport in the Baltic Sea region. The involved partners from the academic, public and private sector cooperate to ease customer operations in intermodal maritime and land transport and to reduce operating costs for ferry, rail and road operators. Its intermodal approach to integrate Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) facilitates driver and passenger services. CONNECTBALTICA thereby serves a total population of about 43 million spread over the seaboard regions of the ten Baltic Sea countries of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, and Sweden.
CONNECTBALTICA was inaugurated in Tallin, Estonia on 11th November, 2011, under the auspices of Siim Kallas, Vice-President of and commissioned with the Transport Agenda of the European Commission.
Areas of cooperation
The spectrum of topics and areas of cooperation to integrate ITS solutions and services for maritime and land transport in the Baltic Sea region include (list not exhaustive):
- Traffic Management in urban areas and road safety applications such as red light enforcement, bus lane enforcement, weigh in motion, speeding, section contro
- Intelligent Data Management for cities (IDMC) – data gathering, processing and delivery of real time information
- Intelligent Transport Management for cities (ITMC) – logistic aspects, etc.
- Usage of transponders or licence plate recognition for identification to enable access to different facilities such as harbors, ferries, bridges, parking facilities, service areas etc.
- Support the distribution of transponders to become one of the major payment methods regarding road user services (BroBizz, EasyGo)
- Development of automatic check-in (ACI) solutions for both maritime and land transport based on standards
- Development of multi-purpose “chips” to be used as boarding and loyalty “card” allowing access to on-board facilities and as general means of payment for on-board services and purchases
- Development of further Added Value Services enhancing customer convenience
- Provision of academic studies for potential implementation of ITS within urban areas
- Research and analysis of eMobility application potentials
- Provision of micropayment solutions for public transport enabling intermodal methods of transport for passengers
- Development of a global payment platform using one payment platform for various means of payment (e.g. ferry operators, on-board sales, public transport, parking).
Synergies and patronage of CONNECTBALTICA
Regarding the analysed project environment, the macro-regional approach of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea region as well as other pan-Baltic concepts and projects build the basis for the CONNECTBALTICA initiative. The EU Strategie’s cornerstone “Accessible and attractive transport links” explicitly refers to the themes dealt within CONNECTBALTICA. The respective study on the Baltic Transport Outlook 2030 allocates potential to improve competitiveness of the Baltic Sea region by addressing improved accessibility and disparities between the member states in the region.
The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea region is coordinated by the European Commission’s DG REGIO. Within the European Commission, ITS and Transportation policies are dealt in its DG’s MOVE, INFSO, ENTER, CLIMA RESEARCH and REGIO.
Goals of CONNECTBALTICA and fields of activity
In a bottom-up approach, the goal of CONNECTBALTICA is to create Added Value to the EU strategy for the Baltic Sea region and to support the practical implementation of its cornerstone “Accessible and attractive transport links”. To this end, CONNECTBALTICA:
- Promotes and develops intermodal sea-land and land transport connections
- Modernizes the transport infrastructure
- Establishes an appropriate framework for the necessary technical assistance
- Develops sea and land tourism
- Facilitates the expected dynamic economic growth of the Baltic region states
- Creates possibilities of a more intense use of the shortest ferry connection via the Baltic Sea
- Creates an area of infrastructure connections, in particular transport and economic connections
- Supports the development of interregional cooperation
- Facilitates the alignment of structural, cohesion and cross border cooperation funds
- Supports the exchange of information between related stakeholders and the public.