The European Commission has just closed a public consultation on the rights of passengers in multimodal transports, i.e. when passengers are using different transport modes during a single journey (for example: train + airplane, coach + waterbone services, etc.).
Why an EU consultation?
The European Commission has inquired about the opinion of the general public before proposing a piece of legislation by end 2018 in relation to passengers’ rights in multimodal transport. Currently, there are a number of EU regulations in relation to passenger rights in the air, rail, waterborne and bus/coach sectors, which include rights for persons with reduced mobility. They apply independently to each individual transport mode under a single contract of carriage. Hence, when a journey involves multimodal transport, passenger rights cannot be guaranteed when an event occurring during one transport segment affects the following one if the latter segment is operated with another mode of transport. Such legislation should notably help to better protect passengers, to tackle discrimination while travelling, support seamless travels across the European Union. This is why AGE has taken part in the consultation.
AGE response to the EU consultation
In our response, we stressed the need to include urban or local public transport services (including taxis) under the scope of this consultation considering the particular importance of ensuring seamless travel from door to door for vulnerable passengers.
Providing clear information about the accessibility at the connecting points is also essential, including about walking distance and the level of accessibility of the different places. It may be necessary to provide assistance at connecting points.
Access to their rights should be made easier to passengers, also taking the environmental impact into account, as for instance encouraging to use train on shorter distances instead of planes, which is currently not the case (e.g. there are plane or train connections between Brussels and Amsterdam Schiphol but with the current passengers’ rights policy, it is safer to use a plane connection between the two airports).