Brussels, 3 December 2009
Rail passengers on track for new rights across the European Union
Rail passengers will from now on enjoy new rights that will protect them and their belongings when they travel by train anywhere within the European Union. EU Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 on rail passengers' rights 1 , which enters into force today, enshrines travellers' basic rights and imposes a number of obligations on rail companies concerning their responsibility towards their customers. Every year, almost 8 billion passengers use the train for their journeys.
Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of transport, commented: "With millions crisscrossing Europe each day, it is for me evident that Europe has to take care that people are able to travel in safety and comfort. These new rights protecting people travelling by rail promote reliable and high-quality rail passenger services. After establishing these rights for passengers travelling by air and rail, our next step will now be to protect those going by water or by bus and coach."
The new rights that are in force from today 2 will:
To give time to railway undertakings to adapt to the new rules on passenger rights Member States can request not having to implement some of these rights for a period of up to 15 years for services limited to the national territory. As local services (i.e. urban, suburban or regional services) are different in character from long-distance services Member States can request permanent derogations for such services but not for cross-border services within the EU.
Air passengers already enjoy an extensive set of rights as guaranteed by European legislation. The European Commission has also proposed new legislation protecting the rights of people travelling by water or by bus or coach. These laws could be adopted as early as next year.
For more information
Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on rail passengers’ rights and obligations, OJ L 315, 3.12.2007, p. 14–41