EU multimodal framework for passenger rights

In “A European Green Deal”

PDF version

In the EU, air passengers’ rights were the first to be regulated in 2004, followed by those of rail, waterborne and finally, bus and coach passengers in 2011. Therefore, in 2011, the EU could benefit from a set of basic passengers’ rights across all modes. To consolidate further the implementation of these rights, the European Commission reviewed them in December 2011 and defined ten core EU passengers’ rights applicable to all modes of transport such as: non-discrimination, accessibility, information, assistance, compensation, carrier liability and complaint-handling.

In December 2020, to translate the objectives of its 2019 European Green Deal in the transport sector, the Commission adopted a new strategy on sustainable and smart mobility. It considered that EU passengers’ rights should be clearer for both transport operators and passengers, raise awareness and provide for better implementation. Further to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Commission underlined the importance of providing assistance, reimbursement and compensation in case of disruptions, liquidity crisis or bankruptcies of travel operators. Moreover, it noted the absence of EU legislation guaranteeing the rights of passengers combining different transport modes. Therefore, the Commission indicated that it would review the EU passengers’ rights and consider benefits in a simplified and more harmonised multimodal framework. This review is planned for 2021-2022 and should provide options for multimodal tickets.

On 19 October 2021, the Commission published its working plan for 2022. Annex I includes a new legislative initiative called Multimodal digital mobility services, to be accompanied by an impact assessment and published in Q4 2022. It is not clear whether and to what extent it will address the issue of passenger rights.


Author: Monika Kiss, Members' Research Service,

Visit the European Parliament pages on climate change.

As of 20/09/2022.