More rights for railway passengers in the EU

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The Plenary voted last week in favour of a European Commission proposal focused on speeding up a more uniform application of the rules of railway passenger rights and removing exemptions to regional services, representing most of the European rail traffic.

The main objective is to better inform and protect passengers in case of delays, cancellations or discrimination regardless where they travel in the EU like for instance, that they can take the next service available in case of a missed connection due to delay or cancellation

It also aligns rail with general aspects of passenger rights legislation on other transport modes, (i.e. non-discrimination, contingency planning, disability training, complaint-handling and enforcement) without imposing an excessive financial burden on rail industry.

Our key points to be considered are:

1. a real compulsory through ticket

2. to ask for the Commission to develop a EU complaint form.

3. to ensure that in case of missed connection due to delay or cancellation during a journey, a passenger will be allowed to take the next service available

The requested standardised Union complaint form is an ALDE proposal. Like in aviation, the form does not substitute the others already existing and but it can be used instead and it must be accepted. This can be very helpful for those passengers travelling cross border who don’t know the language of a country but can use the EU complaint form to ask for compensation.

The new proposal will also provide higher compensation rates after long delays (increasing compensation for delays longer than an hour, from 25 percent to 50 percent of the ticket price), better assistance for people with reduced mobility (it should be free of charge) and more room for bicycles, including on high-speed trains, long distance, cross-border and local services.

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