ESN has joined forces with Erasmus by Train, a student-led organisation that advocates for sustainable travel in Erasmus, to launch a joint call asking for a ticket adapted to the need of Erasmus students, which would allow them to travel sustainably and in an accessible way to their Erasmus destinations. The joint call and the pilot project proposal were presented at an event in the European Parliament on the 28th of June, where ESN and Erasmus by Train were joined by MEPs Laurence Farreng, Jan-Cristoph Oetjen, and Dominique Riquet. 

You can read the joint call in full at the end of the article.



According to the Research on the habits of Erasmus students, 70% of Erasmus+ students travel by plane because incentives are misaligned to promote sustainable travel.

Right now, it is typically

➔ more expensive

➔ more complicated

to travel sustainably. We want to change this!

We call on the EU to provide free Erasmus+ tickets to all students!



Erasmus by Train, a student-led initiative envisioning a more sustainable and united Europe, and the Erasmus Student Network have launched a Joint Call providing a detailed proposal on how such a ticket could be designed and implemented.

An Erasmus+ ticket would make students' journeys more sustainable and cover students’ travel costs, making the Erasmus programme more accessible. Students would also experience the rich diversity of landscapes and cultures they pass through. A sustainable Erasmus journey can also turn students into agents of change with lasting behavioural changes in transport choices as seen in the DiscoverEU-programme.

  1. Status quo: Erasmus+ students not incentivised to travel sustainably

Currently, there are no attractive options for Erasmus+ students who wish to travel across Europe sustainably and affordably.

The Green Travel Top-Up of €50 implemented by the European Commission is a step in the right direction but does not even come close to compensating the actual differences in costs for many students who travel sustainably. Furthermore, it creates an additional bureaucratic burden for students and institutions alike.

  1. Expectations of Erasmus+ students: requirements for the Erasmus+ ticket

For the Erasmus+ ticket to successfully shift journeys to more sustainable modes of transport, it has to fulfil the following criteria:

  • Free of charge

  • Valid for outward and return journey

  • Ability to make stops along the way

  • Broad validity throughout Europe

  • Simple, digital ticket booking

  • Free luggage

  • Passenger rights

  1. Feasibility: reducing the ticket price

To be able to scale the ticket to all Erasmus+ students, we worked with transit companies to compile ideas that would allow for cheaper ticket prices:

  • No public transit

  • Booking one month in advance

  • Committing to the exact travel connection beforehand

  • Special quotas

  1. Long-term vision

In the future, the idea of an Erasmus+ ticket should be implemented across the entire Erasmus+ programme. The lessons learned from the ticket for Higher Education Mobility participants can be applied to mitigate transport-related emissions in all Erasmus+ programme action types.

  1. Next step: a pilot project to evaluate the impact of the Erasmus+ ticket

We suggest taking advantage of the momentum around the European Year of Youth to launch a pilot project to test the new Erasmus+ ticket with a limited number of students within the next year. The evidence is unequivocal: now is the time to change the way we travel. The Erasmus Generation is ready to make the switch to sustainable travel. We look forward to joining forces with the European Commission in the European Year of Youth to make this vision a reality.



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