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Summaries of EU Legislation

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Bus and coach passengers’ rights

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Bus and coach passengers’ rights

Passengers, including those with a disability or reduced mobility, travelling by bus and coach enjoy the same rights wherever they travel in the European Union (EU). These rights, including the right to information or compensation in the case of delay or cancellation, complement similar rights for sea and inland waterway, air and rail passengers.

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 and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004

SUMMARY

Passengers, including those with a disability or reduced mobility, travelling by bus and coach enjoy the same rights wherever they travel in the European Union (EU). These rights, including the right to information or compensation in the case of delay or cancellation, complement similar rights for sea and inland waterway, air and rail passengers.

WHAT DOES THIS REGULATION DO?

The regulation sets down rules for bus and coach transport regarding regular services* for passengers travelling within the EU for distances of 250 kms or more. Some of its provisions apply to all services, including those of a shorter distance.

KEY POINTS

In respect of long-distance services, i.e. of more than 250 kms, the regulation provides:

in situations of cancellation or following a delay of more than 90 minutes in the case of a journey of more than 3 hours, for adequate assistance e.g. snacks, meals and up to 2 nights’ hotel. accommodation;

guarantee of reimbursement or rerouting in situations of overbooking or 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 injury, loss or damage caused by road accidents and/or compensation in case of death;

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, for distances of less than 250 kms, the regulation provides for:

non-discrimination based on nationality with respect to prices and contract conditions for passengers;

non-discriminatory treatment of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility and 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 and general information about their rights in terminals and online;

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.

The regulation provides for the option of exemptionsfor domestic regular services and for regular services where a significant part is operated outside the EU.

WHEN DOES THIS REGULATION APPLY?

From 1 March 2013.

BACKGROUND

European Commission website on bus and coach passenger rights

KEY TERMS

*regular services: ordinary bus and coach services carrying passengers along specified routes with pre-determined pick-up/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, pp. 1-12

Last updated: 27.08.2015

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