Fair competition in #Bus and #Coach market

| January 24, 2019
More choice for consumers, more competition, better control of market abuse: the EPP Group has ensured that passengers and carriers offering national inter-urban routes will benefit from the further liberalization of the European bus and coach markets. The European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee adopted its position on 22 January.

“This proposal for international liberalization is clearly necessary because it leads us towards a more integrated European Union. It will also lead us to a fairer and more competitive bus and coach market. Citizens will be able to travel more easily and less costly by bus,” said Luis de Grandes Pascual MEP, the EPP Group’s Shadow Rapporteur of the file.

The new legislation is meant to provide access to the market for non-resident carriers of another EU country in order to offer their inter-urban coach services. This means, for example, that a Danish bus carrier will be able to carry out trips from Paris to Bordeaux or from Hamburg to Cologne. The Regulation further defines the rules for the new competitors in order to get access to the main bus stations.

“We now have an even-tempered report on the table. We achieved a good balance between liberalizing the international bus market and protecting existing public service contracts. Buses and coaches are the most social means of transport and should remain so. This is why it is also important that we do not ignore public service contracts,” said Luis de Grandes Pascual. Under the new legislation, the economic balance of existing public service contracts is taken into consideration. Member states can deny the introduction of new services, where this distorts the markets.

“A newly-established national regulatory body will monitor the situation in each and every home market. The aim is to prevent discrimination or market abuse,” concluded de Grandes Pascual.

After the committee vote, inter-institutional negotiations have started.

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