Transport plays an important role in today's economy and society and has a large impact on growth and employment. The transport industry directly employs around 10 million people and accounts for about 5% of gross domestic product (GDP). Effective transport systems are fundamental for the European companies' ability to compete in the world economy. Logistics, such as transport and storage, account for 10–15% of the cost of a finished product for European companies.
The quality of transport services has a major impact on people's quality of life. On average 13.2% of every household's budget is spent on transport goods and services. Transport also depends heavily on oil resources and represents an important source of CO2 emissions. The strategy outlined in the Transport 2050 Roadmap to a Single Transport Area aims to introduce profound structural changes to transform the transport sector.
In this sense, the methodologies and tools developed by the JRC focus on the evaluation of policy measures in terms of the main objectives of EU transport policy related to the economy and competitiveness, as well as on the decarbonisation of transport:
- Increasing efficiency of the whole transport system: techno-economic analysis of emerging technologies, analysis of impacts on transport demand, costs, emissions, congestion, accessibility and economic impacts.
- Strengthening the competitiveness of European industry: Analysis of the contribution of transport to economic competitiveness, both as a main element of economic activity (transport of people and goods) and as an industrial sector itself.
- Pioneering the transport of the future (long term perspective): technology watch and foresight activities, techno-economic characterisation, innovation in transport.
- Decarbonising and “greening” the transport system: Analysis of technologies and measures to reduce transport GHG emissions and other externalities, development of methodologies for the estimation of external costs.