The rail sector is fully engaged in addressing the important societal need for better accessibility of persons with disabilities to public infrastructure. In this regard, rail Infrastructure Managers (IMs) are committed to continue investing in making the railway infrastructure, such as stations and platforms, accessible for all users including persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility (PRM). At European level, Regulation (EU) 1300/2014 on the “Technical Specifications for Interoperability relating to the accessibility of the Union’s rail system for persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility (TSI PRM)” applies to infrastructure, operation and traffic management, telematics applications and rolling stock where accessibility of persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility is necessary. Only new or renewed infrastructure and/or rolling stock will have to comply with the accessibility rules as defined in the TSI PRM.
EIM in action
- EIM advocates the accessibility of persons with disabilities to rail infrastructures via EIM’s PRM Working Group.
- EIM is a member of the ‘European Commission TSI Advisory Body’, a European Commission Expert Group dealing with the PRM TSI. EIM speakers ensure a fair balance between accessibility, financial impact, operations and human resources requirements.
- EIM is a member of the ERA Topical Working Groups and Working Parties, that are responsible for the revision of the TSI PRM and corresponding Application Guide.
EIM actions in 2022
- Throughout 2022, the EIM WG PRM, in collaboration with the CER WG PRM, has monitored, assessed and commented the drafts of TSI PRM that ERA and EC has distributed within the framework of the TSI Revision Package of 2023.
- The EIM WG PRM has collaborated with EIM Station group, sharing best practices and discussed input to next TSI PRM revision.
- EIM’s PRM Working Group will continue discussing the TSI change requests with ERA and EC, in the final phase of the TSI Revision Package of 2023. The WG PRM will review and propose amendments to the TSI PRM Application Guide.
- It will also pursue the discussion on the PRM-rights within the framework of the related discussions in ERA regarding the PRM TSI.
- The Working Group will also continue its regular meetings with the corresponding working group of CER.
- EIM PRM Working Group will continue to have joint meetings with EIM Station group
EC Regulation (EU)1300/2014 accessibility of the EU rail system for persons with disabilities/reduced mobility
EC Regulation (EU) 2019/772 amending Regulation (EU) No 1300/2014 as regards the inventory of assets with a view to identifying barriers to accessibility, providing information to users and monitoring and evaluating progress on accessibility
Since the “Third Railway Package” of 2007, the EU guarantees the rights of transport passengers through Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007. This Regulation defines a minimum level of protection for rail passengers across the EU, including rights for persons with disabilities or persons with reduced mobility (‘PRM’).
In 2017, the European Commission proposed a revision of this Regulation in order to address some issues, notably: the availability and accessibility of information; passengers’ rights in situations of delay; missed connections or train cancellations and more appropriate and higher compensations and assistance for PRMs. After a long negotiation process, the EU co-decision bodies reached an agreement in January 2021.
EIM in action
- EIM advocated a balanced approach between rights and obligations;
- EIM maintained a close dialogue with members of the European Parliament (MEPs) dealing with rail passengers’ rights, and also with the European Commission and all other stakeholders.
EIM actions in 2022
- EIM closely monitored the topic and engaged in and facilitated dialogue between its members and also with other sector stakeholders as well as the EU Commission and the EU Parliament
- The Commission is expected to publish a proposal on Multimodal digital mobility services in mid-2023;
- The EC is also expected to present in the second half of the year a proposal for a regulation on better protection for passengers and their rights;
- EIM will closely follow the legislative process of the two proposals.