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Rights of passengers in bus and coach transport

This regulation establishes rules for the rights of passengers when travelling by bus and coach transport. It covers non-discrimination between passengers regarding transport conditions offered by carriers, rights of passengers in the event of accidents, non-discrimination and assistance for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility, rights of passengers in case of cancellation or delay, minimum information to be provided to passengers, the handling of complaints and general rules on enforcement.

ACT

Regulation (EU) No 181/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport.

SUMMARY

Subject to certain exceptions, this regulation applies to passengers travelling with regular services * for non-specified categories of passengers where either the boarding or the alighting point is within the European Union (EU) and where the scheduled distance of the service is 250 km or more. Some of its provisions apply to all services, including those of shorter distance. The provisions of this regulation will apply as from 1 March 2013.

The new rights applicable to long distance services (i.e. of more than 250 km) include, amongst others:

  • adequate assistance (snacks, meals and refreshments as well as, if necessary, up to two nights' hotel accommodation, for a total amount of € 80 per night, except in case of severe weather conditions and major natural disasters) in situations of cancellation or following a delay of more than 90 minutes in the case of a journey of more than three hours;
  • guarantee of reimbursement or rerouting in situations of overbooking or in case of cancellation or following a delay of more than 120 minutes from the estimated time of departure;
  • compensation of 50 % of the ticket price following more than 120 minutes' delay from the estimated time of departure, cancellation of a journey and if the carrier fails to offer the passenger either rerouting or reimbursement;
  • information when the service is cancelled or delayed in departure;
  • protection of passengers in case of death, injury, loss or damage caused by road accidents, particularly with regard to immediate practical needs in case of accident (including up to two nights' hotel accommodation, for a total amount of € 80 per night);
  • specific assistance free of charge for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility both at terminals and on board and, where necessary, transport free of charge for accompanying people.

Additionally, the following rights will be applicable to all services (including those below 250 km):

  • non-discrimination based either directly or indirectly on nationality, with respect to tariffs and contract conditions for passengers;
  • non-discriminatory treatment of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility as well as financial compensation for loss or damage of their mobility equipment in case of accident;
  • minimum rules on travel information for all passengers before and during their journey as well as general information about their rights in terminals and online; where feasible, this information shall be provided in accessible formats upon request, in the interest of the persons with reduced mobility;
  • a complaint handling mechanism established by carriers and available to all passengers;
  • independent national bodies in each EU country with the mandate to enforce the regulation and, where appropriate, to impose penalties.
Key terms used in the act
  • Regular services: services which provide for the carriage of passengers by bus or coach at specified intervals along specified routes, passengers being picked up and set down at predetermined stopping points.

REFERENCES

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EU) No 181/2011

20.3.2011

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OJ L 55, 28.2.2011

Last updated: 28.04.2011
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