NEW RIGHTS FOR DISABLED PASSENGERS - European Commission adopts new proposals on bus and maritime passenger rights

On the 4th of December, the European Commission adopted two proposals for regulations on the rights of bus and maritime passengers, long awaited by the European Disability Forum as passengers with disabilities of these transport modes still do not enjoy similar rights as air and rail passengers do.

Both proposals include specific rights for passengers with disabilities, which is particularly welcome by the European Disability Forum.

The proposals apply in principle to all domestic and international services. Both modes of transport will raise quality standards and will offer better protection of passenger rights. Passengers will be better informed of their rights and how to enforce them in an effective way. Passengers in general and people with disabilities or reduced mobility in particular will be protected from any form of discrimination.

The proposals include requirements to provide assistance free of charge to persons with disabilities on board the bus or passenger ship as well as in ports and terminals. Transport operators cannot refuse to accept reservation, issue a ticket or board on grounds of disability or reduced mobility unless safety regulations or the size and facilities of the vehicle or ship make it physically impossible to embark these passengers.

Further information on rights for passengers are available from the Europa website.