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New rights for rail passengers

This Regulation establishes a package of rights for rail passengers and requires greater responsibility of rail undertakings towards their customers.

ACT

Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on rail passengers’ rights and obligations.

SUMMARY

This Regulation aims at establishing rights and obligations for rail service users in order to improve the efficiency and appeal of rail transport for passengers.

Scope

This Regulation concerns all rail journeys and services provided under licence by one or more rail undertakings under Directive 95/18/EC.

It does not apply to transport services or rail undertakings which are not licensed.

A Member State has the option to grant an exemption from this Regulation for a maximum period of five years, which may be renewed twice. It may also exempt urban, suburban and regional rail passenger services from this Regulation.

Passengers’ rights

Rail passengers shall henceforth have new basic rights:

Transport contract, information and tickets

Passengers shall be given clear information:

  • before the journey, in particular concerning the relevant conditions applicable to the contract, timetables and the fares applied;
  • during the journey, in particular concerning any delays or interruptions to services;
  • concerning procedures for the submission of complaints.

Rail undertakings shall make the purchasing of tickets easier for rail passengers. As a general rule tickets shall be sold at least either via ticket offices or selling machines, or on board trains or via widely available information technology (internet or telephone).

Passengers and their luggage

Passengers have the right to compensation if their registered luggage is lost or damaged (up to EUR 1,285 per item of luggage).

This Regulation strengthens passengers’ rights to compensation in the case of death or injury. An advance shall:

  • be paid not later than fifteen days after the identification of the natural person entitled to compensation;
  • enable their immediate economic needs to be met;
  • be proportional to the damage suffered.

Delays and cancellations

This Regulation strengthens passengers’ rights to compensation in the case of delays or cancellations. Passengers may claim a minimum compensation equivalent to:

  • 25 % of the ticket price for a delay of 60 to 119 minutes;
  • 50 % of the ticket price for a delay of 120 minutes or more.

In the case of a delay in arrival or departure, passengers have the right to:

  • meals and refreshments within reasonable limits;
  • accommodation where a stay of one or more nights becomes necessary;
  • transport to the departure or arrival point if the train is blocked on the track.

Non-discrimination of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility

This Regulation gives disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility the following rights:

  • disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility have the right to non-discriminatory access to transport at no additional charge when buying a ticket or making a reservation;
  • upon request, disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility shall be provided with information concerning the accessibility of rail services and trains;
  • rail undertakings and station managers shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure that trains and other rail services are accessible;
  • rail undertakings and station managers shall make all reasonable efforts to provide assistance free of charge on board trains and at staffed stations; to guarantee assistance under good conditions, passengers are requested to comply with certain provisions (e.g. 48 hours’ notice before departure);
  • disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility have the right to compensation if the rail undertaking is responsible for the loss or damage of mobility equipment.

Security, complaints and quality of service

This Regulation obliges rail undertakings and stations managers to ensure passengers’ personal security in trains and stations in conjunction with the public authorities.

Rail undertakings are henceforth required to put in place a complaints handling service in order to meet the rights and obligations covered by this Regulation.

Member States must now offer passengers the option to submit a complaint to an independent body if they feel that their rights have not been respected. The minimum service quality standards include:

  • passenger information and tickets;
  • punctuality of service and general principles;
  • cancellation of services;
  • cleanliness of rolling stock and station facilities;
  • customer satisfaction surveys;
  • complaint handling, refunds and compensation for non-compliance with service quality standards;
  • assistance provided to disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility.

Information to passengers about their rights

Rail passengers shall be informed of their rights and obligations under this Regulation when purchasing a ticket.

Context

This Regulation comes under the framework of the Common Transport Policy and contributes to the aim of protecting rail passengers’ rights.

REFERENCES

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007

3.12.2009

-

OJ L 315 of 3.12.2007

RELATED ACTS

Communication from the Commission of 3 March 2004 - Further integration of the European rail system: third railway package [COM(2004) 140 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Last updated: 30.03.2010
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