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The EU has recently adopted revised rules on rail passenger rights, which will start to apply as from 2023. In the framework of the European year of rail 2021, UITP and EPF (European Passengers‘ Federation) organised a joint information session Digital workshop on rail passenger rights for all: EU legislation & beyond on 19 May to discuss the revised EU regulatory framework for rail passenger rights as well as sector’s initiatives to promote passenger rights in the EU.
The European Commission presented the revised rules, and the upcoming review of the passenger rights framework with a multimodal perspective. Mohamed Mezghani, UITP Secretary General, reminded the participants of the key role of public transport providing essential services to EU citizens, a role exacerbated in all countries since the start of the successive lockdown periods. He also highlighted that rail passenger rights are not only about EU legislation; they are also about voluntary agreements, charters, initiatives coming out of exchanges of best practices among operators.
Passenger rights are not new for the public transport sector. Public transport is about passengers by nature. This crucial role in the mobility of people was displayed during the successive lockdown periods. Public transport was among the very few services still running during the most severe periods of the current crisis.
After, speakers included representatives of EPF, RATP and Wiener Lokal Bahnen, who gave examples of initiatives aiming at improving passenger rights. UITP highlighted the new provisions applying to regional operators and related to the carriage of bikes, through-tickets, assistance to persons with reduced mobility and rerouting.
Anne-Laure Le Merre, UITP Rail Senior Expert, concluded the workshop by insisting on the role of stations as multimodal hubs, ensuring a smooth flow of passengers across modes and between short distances and long distances journeys. Transport operators and authorities are preparing to implement the new EU rail passenger rights rules in a context of market opening and uncertain recovery of the Covid 19 crisis. A great regulatory framework on passenger rights will be useful if passengers are back; at the same time, a great regulatory framework on passenger rights will help winning back passengers.
As the European Year of Rail will last at least until December 2021, UITP is planning to organise other activities to promote regional and rail transport. We are currently collecting “Rail Success Stories” with the aim sharing positive and successful examples of rail services development in cities, metropolitan areas, regions, promoting the rail mode as the “backbone of the mobility system” and showcasing how it contributed and is contributing to the improvement of the quality of life for citizens and users and how positively it impacted the territory. Contact Giuseppe Rizzi (giuseppe.rizzi[@]uitp.org) if you have a good example to share.
On 8 and 9 June 2021, APTA and UITP are organising a two-day virtual technical conference featuring high-energy sessions on technology, operations, safety & security, planning, finance, capital projects, workforce development, diversity and inclusion, and more. The sessions will explore urban, commuter, high-speed, and intercity rail modes. More information here
Visit our KeepItRail! webpage to know more about our next rail activities.