In the framework of the EU-funded project CONNECT2CE, coordinated by the CEI-Executive Secretariat (CEI-ES) as lead partner, Trieste Trasporti and Slovenske Železnice (Slovenian railways) signed the agreement for the launch of a new cross-border integrated public transport service (bus/train) between Trieste and Ljubljana. The event took place at the CEI Headquarters in Trieste on 14 February.

On 22 February the regional council, based on a proposal of the Minister of Infrastructures and Territory of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, adopted the regional act to approve the tariff for the experimental service.

The signature of the agreement and the adoption of the regional act represented the last steps of the institutional dialogue, coordinated by the CEI-ES, which allowed to overcome some technical, administrative and organisational obstacles for launching this service. Thanks to this agreement, a new cross-border integrated connection between Trieste and Ljubljana will be activated from 1 March 2019 to 31 August 2019. It will enable users to travel by bus from the centre of Trieste to the railway station of Villa Opicina and then to the centre of Ljubljana with the trains operating on the Slovenian railways. The integrated ticket (8 EUR) will be available for online purchase on the Slovenian railways website (www.slo-zeleznice.si).

CONNECT2CE, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund in the framework of the Interreg Central Europe 2014-2020 Programme, aims at improving public transport accessibility in rural, peripheral and cross-border areas of Central Europe with a focus on three main topics: improvement of cross-border connectivity; promotion of integrated ticketing and tariff schemes; implementation of innovative ICT tools to increase the efficiency of public transport services for passengers.

Within this project, the CEI-ES has promoted and coordinated a cross-border technical board involving the two operators - Trieste Trasporti for Italy and Slovenske Železnice for Slovenia – as well as other relevant stakeholders such as the Autonomous Region Friuli Venezia Giulia, the regional Department of Trenitalia, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RTI) and the Municipality of Trieste.

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