When buying tickets for passenger transport services by bus and coach, no one should be discriminated against directly or indirectly on grounds of nationality or because of the place of establishment of the transport company or of the ticket vendors in the European Union.
In long-haul transports, the carrier issues a ticket to the passenger (possibly in electronic form), unless other documents give entitlement to transport.
All passengers in the bus route have the right to be adequately informed during the entire trip. This includes the right to information on passenger rights and the announcement of the necessary contact details of the national enforcement bodies.
All relevant general information and the conditions of carriage shall be provided for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility in accessible form, such as large print, simple language, Braille,or as a voice recorder).
In case of cancellation or late departure of a long-haul journey, the carrier or the bus station operator will notify the passengers departing from the terminal as quickly as possible. This happens at the latest 30 minutes after the scheduled departure time. Passengers will be informed of the situation and as soon as this information is available, the expected departure time will also be provided. If passengers miss a connection to a traffic service then the terminal managing bodies shall make every reasonable effort to inform them of alternative connections. Where feasible, the carrier also transmits this information electronically, if the passenger requests this and has provided the necessary contact details to the carrier.
In the remote line service, passengers are entitled to compensation for death or personal injury and loss of or damage to luggage resulting from the coach accident. The conditions and the amount of compensation are subject to the applicable national legislation; only certain minimum amounts are set in the Regulation. The compensations are not automatic, but must be enforced before national courts, if necessary.
In addition, the carrier shall provide reasonable and appropriate assistance after an accident on the long-distance line service, with regard to the immediate practical needs of the passengers. Such assistance shall include accommodation, food, clothes, transport and providing first aid.
In the event of overbooking or if the carrier reasonably must assume that the departure of a regular service * is delayed or canceled by more than 120 minutes, then the passengers in the long-haul traffic are entitled to a choice of onward re-routing to their final destination without additional charge at the earliest possible time and under similar conditions, or refund the full ticket price and, where appropriate, provide at the earliest possible time a free return trip to the departure location set out in the contract of carriage.
This selection is available for passengers, also when the regular service is canceled or the departure of a bus stop is delayed for more than 120 minutes.
Should the carrier not provide the passengers in the said situation the choice between reimbursement of the ticket price and the onward journey re-routing, then they are entitled to a compensation equal to 50% of the fare.
This claim for compensation and any fare refund does not exclude the right of the passengers to pursue, in accordance with national law before national courts, claims due to disadvantages that they have suffered due to cancellation or delay of the regular services.
If the bus becomes inoperable during the trip, then the carrier shall send another bus to the place where you will find the inoperable vehicle to bring the passengers either to their destination or to a suitable waiting point or terminal, from where their travel can continue.
On trips in the remote line service with a duration of more than three hours, the passengers are entitled to adequate assistance, if the trip is canceled or departure from a terminal is delayed by more than 90 minutes. This includes snacks, meals, refreshments and accommodation if necessary. (The carrier may limit the total cost of accommodation per passenger to € 80 per night for a maximum of two nights. The carrier is not obliged to accept accommodation expenses if the cancellation or delay is caused by adverse weather conditions or severe natural disasters.)
For disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility the general passenger rights apply for bus traffic as well as the following rights, so they can use the same travel opportunities as other citizens.
Carriers, travel agents or tour operators may not charge extra for bookings and tickets for persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility.
They also are not allowed to refuse making bookings or issue tickets or remove the person from board of a vehicle due to a passenger's disability or due to their reduced mobility. According to the applicable passenger safety regulations or the health and safety requirements of the competent authorities, exceptions are allowed only if the transport of a disabled person or a person with reduced mobility would not be possible or it is not possible because of the design of the vehicle or the infrastructure to transport the disabled person or person with reduced mobility in a safe and operationally feasible manner.
Should a carrier, travel agent or tour operator in the long-haul traffic business refuse to make a reservation, issue a ticket or take a passenger on board the vehicle, due to the above reasons, then he shall notify the passenger immediately - and in writing at its request - about the reasons why. In addition, he shall notify the person concerned in the case of refusal to accept a reservation or to issue a ticket, via any acceptable alternative service operated by the carrier. Should it be possible to remedy the reasons why the passenger was declined booking or access to the bus, for example by having a person present that can provide the required help, then the passenger has the right to demand that the accompanying person can travel free of charge.
If a disabled person or a person with reduced mobility who has a ticket or a reservation and has the carrier duly informed of his special need for assistance, still is refused the transport on long distance lines, then the person may either select a refund of fare and - provided that the appropriate services are available - the onward journey.
The carriers and terminal operators provide non-discriminatory access conditions for the transport of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility. They must provide theses conditions to the public and upon request be physically available for the passenger.
In long-haul transports, carriers and terminal operators within their respective areas of competence must assist disabled persons and persons with limited mobility.
Disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility shall notify the carrier at least 36 hours in advance of their special need for assistance and arrive at the agreed time prior to departure (maximum 60 minutes prior) at the designated location of the bus station.
If, through the fault of the carrier or terminal operator, a loss of or damage to mobility equipment (a wheelchair or other assistance device) occurs, a compensation must be provided, which corresponds to the replacement value of the relevant equipment or the repair costs.
Where necessary, every effort is made to procure temporary replacement for lost or damaged mobility equipment.
Passengers may submit complaints within three months after the actual or planned implementation of a bus service at the carrier. The carrier shall give notice to the passenger within one month of receipt of the complaint, whether his complaint was upheld, whether it was rejected or if it is still being processed. Within three months of receipt of the complaint, the passenger must be informed of a definitive answer.
These mentioned periods do not apply when it comes to issues related to compensation for death or personal injury and lost or damaged luggage due to accidents.
Each Member State shall designate a body or bodies responsible for the enforcement of the rights laid down in the regulation.
The national enforcement agency is responsible for the enforcement of the regulation in relation to regular bus services from within the territory of the Member State places and in relation to regular bus services from a third country to such places.
Each passenger may submit a complaint for an alleged breach of the Regulation at the relevant national enforcement body. A Member State may decide that the passenger has to first make a complaint to the carrier; in this case the national enforcement body serves as an appeal body for complaints for which no solution was found. The national Enforcement body for passenger rights can be reached under the following contact data:
Citizens Phone for Passenger Rights
Telephone: +49 228 30795-400
Fax: +49 228 30795-499
In accordance with Article 14 (2) of Regulation (EU) 524/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on online dispute resolution for consumer disputes, attention is drawn to the existence of the OS platform operated by the European Commission for resolving consumer disputes resulting from an agreement or contract concluded online.
This can be accessed on the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/odr
* (Please note, that fees for calls from landlines as well as from mobile phones depend on individual provider's rates.)
** This provision does not apply to passengers having tickets with open travel dates, as long as no departure time is set, with the exception of passengers who have a season ticket.
*** The Member States may exempt domestic regular services from the application of the provisions that apply to disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility, provided they ensure that the level of protection for these individuals corresponds to that of the regulation in their national legislation.
Source: European Commission