In a joint statement on the proposed revision of the interpretative guidelines on Regulation (EC) No 1370 on public passenger transport services by rail and by road (‘PSO regulation’), a broad coalition of transport and local governments groups calls on the European Commission to avoid undermining the legal framework for public transport organisation.
The coalition calls for legal coherence for public transport in Europe, especially at a time when the sector’s efforts are focused on sustainable recovery from the pandemic and a just transition to a climate-neutral, resilient Europe for all.
The coalition, composed of UITP, CCRE-CEMR, CER, EMTA, Eurocities, Polis and SGI Europe, welcomes the Commission’s initiative to revise the guidelines of the PSO Regulation as an opportunity to provide a consistent and clear framework at EU level. However, the coalition cannot support the current version of the text as it would create substantial uncertainty for the sector.
The text as its stands suggests new legal concepts and new interpretations of existing law, which would affect the management of public transport in Europe.
It also introduces a new ‘demand-driven approach’ which is incompatible with sustainable mobility planning. Public authorities have all sorts of economic, environmental and social public policy goals that may require the provision of public transport services, in support of EU climate and air quality goals.
The PSO Regulation sets out the conditions under which transport operators can be compensated or given exclusive rights by public authorities to provide public transport services in the general interest. The Regulation, and the way it is interpreted, is therefore of crucial importance for the organisation of the European public transport and rail sector.
Read the full text by clicking on this link: PSO Coalition Statement.