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Transforming Erasmus+ Travel: The Green Initiative by Eurail and CER

Transforming Erasmus+ Travel: The Green Initiative by Eurail and CER
photo: C&A / Public domain/Exchange students
12 / 04 / 2024

The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) warmly welcomes the latest initiative from its member Eurail B.V.: the Interrail Global Pass for Erasmus+ participants.

Tailored to their specific needs, this initiative offers students and academic staff a green and cost-effective alternative to air travel when journeying to and from their host country. By opting to travel by rail, participants can reduce their carbon footprint while immersing themselves in a truly European experience.

The Interrail Global Pass for Erasmus+ not only facilitates travel for participants to and from Erasmus+ destinations but also encourages further exploration within host countries and neighboring regions. Extra days included in the Pass provide ample opportunities for students to deepen their understanding of European heritage and foster cross-cultural and cross-border connections.

The initiative stems from the European Commission’s recent inclusion of a Green Travel Support measure in the Erasmus+ Programme Guide for all students and staff, which aims to offset travel expenses for participants journeying to and from their destinations by sustainable modes of transportation. It also highlights the joint dedication of Eurail and the European railway community to promote the use of rail travel among Erasmus+ participants.

European railways play a pivotal role in achieving the ambitious climate goals outlined in the Green Deal. Despite carrying significant freight and passenger volumes, rail’s direct emissions remain remarkably low — less than 0.4% of total transport emissions in the EU.

The rail community stands ready to collaborate with institutions at all levels to support and foster the sustainable modal choices of young Europeans. CER members are also making strides to attract young passengers by implementing the CER Ticketing Roadmap, which addresses the further improvement of the customer experience when planning, booking, and travelling internationally by rail. Innovative programmes such as the Interrail Pass not only encourage sustainable travel choices but also further strengthen European integration and identity through the appreciation of different cultures and traditions. The European Year of Rail (2021) and the European Year of Youth (2022) showed how the concepts of European youth, rail, and European identity are intertwined. Today, we see how Interrail continues to be instrumental in creating and affirming a European identity among young travellers.

The Interrail Global Pass for Erasmus+ participants has been developed in collaboration with ESN (Erasmus Student Network), the largest student network in Europe.

CER Executive Director Alberto Mazzola stated: “Interrail has been helping young Europeans to discover the joys of Europe and rail travel for over five decades. The Interrail Pass, and now this new Global Pass, not only offer sustainable transport solutions to students and young people but also help forge a strong and enduring sense of European identity. CER applauds this latest initiative by Eurail and the role it will play in supporting Erasmus+ participants’ sustainable transport choices. It is the perfect accomplishment of the European Year of Rail and the European Year of Youth.”

Eurail CEO Carlo Boselli stated: "Through collaboration with our European railway community, we are delighted to contribute to the promotion of rail travel by offering a dedicated Interrail Pass to Erasmus+ participants. This initiative epitomizes our joint commitment to partnering with institutions to cultivate environmentally conscientious travel practices."


Source: CER Press Releases