Today, the European Commission has announced that it will modernize EU rules on the rights of rail travelers, which have been in force since December 2009. The objective is to better protect consumers in the event of delays, cancellations or discrimination in railway transport. Passengers should also be informed comprehensively and travelers with disabilities or reduced mobility are to be legally supported.
The rules will be revised in the following key areas:
- Uniform application of rules: Passenger rights should be applied uniformly in domestic, long-distance and cross-border local and regional transport. These rights are currently weakened because many Member States do not apply the rules in full or with only a few exceptions.
- Information and non-discrimination: Information on passenger rights shall be improved through indications on the tickets. When using connected services with separate tickets, passengers must be informed on whether their rights apply to the whole journey or only to the different segments. Discrimination based on nationality or place of residence is prohibited.
- Travelers with disabilities or reduced mobility: Passengers have a binding right to assistance covering all transport services as well as to full compensation in case of loss or damage of mobility aids. Any information should be disclosed in an accessible form. Train staff should receive interpersonal training for people with disabilities.
- Enforcement, complaints procedures and sanctions: National authorities assigned with the enforcement of passenger rights should be given clear deadlines, procedures and responsibilities in dealing with passenger complaints.
Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: "Thanks to the EU passengers have a full set of rights no matter where they travel in the EU. Yet there are still too many European train travellers and commuters who aren't properly informed about their rights. That is what we want to fix with our new proposal. I am confident that our initiative will strengthen the sector, striking the right balance between the protection of travellers and the competitiveness of the rail sector."
Source: European Commission