A provisional deal to better protect and assist train travellers in case of delays, cancellations or discrimination was approved in the Transport and Tourism Committee on Tuesday.
The rules agreed informally by Council German presidency and Parliament negotiators, led by EP rapporteur Bogusław Liberadzki (S&D, PL), last October updates the legislation on rail passengers’ rights. It is set to guarantee rerouting and help passengers when there are delays and cancellations, to improve access and assistance to people with reduced mobility, and help to create more dedicated spaces for bicycles. If delays of over 100 minutes occur, under new rules the rail operators will be obliged to reroute passengers in any way possible and assist travellers to find the best alternatives, as is the case with air carriers. In case circumstances so require, meal and refreshment will need to be provided and accommodation costs will be reimbursed. Travellers with reduced mobility will have a shorter pre-notification obligation, prompting them to notify the operator of their travel plans 24 hours in advance (under current rules, they have to notify the operator 48 hours in advance). In an effort to provide more sustainable mobility and comfortable alternatives, all trains will have to be equipped with dedicated spaces and racks for bicycles.
The deal on new rules was approved by Transport and Tourism Committee on Tuesday by 36 votes to 6 and 4 abstentions. It now needs to be approved by the full House, scheduled to convene in April.
The European Commission tabled the proposal to modernise the European rail passengers’ rights that are in force since 2009 in September 2017.