Passenger Rights on Intercity Buses

passenger-rights

While perhaps not as regulated as in Europe, most American bus companies provide a base standard for passenger rights.

But how do passenger rights in the U.S. compare to the rest of the world, particularly Europe?

Delays and cancellations on intercity buses

Unfortunately, there is very little information about delays and cancellations for intercity buses in the U.S. This contrasts with the EU’s 181/2011 regulation which guarantees the rights of passengers traveling on scheduled bus trips with a minimum distance of 250 Km (155 miles). Passengers can receive compensated if their departure time is delayed. No compensation will be made, however, if the bus’ arrival is delayed.

Did you know? Passenger rights are valid throughout the whole EU. However, each member state reserves the right to delay the ruling for a period of four years. Moreover, countries can also extend this up to 4 more years. The United Kingdom made use of this exception and bus operators in the UK are therefore not obligated to pay compensation for delays.

Lost or damaged baggage

There are no clear regulations for lost luggage for the U.S intercity bus sector. However, most bus companies offer up to $250 compensation for each adult ticket and up to $125 for each child ticket. This depends on if you can show the luggage tag given to you by the operator when you checked in.

Did you know? Some American carriers also offer baggage insurance in case your belongings exceed the maximum compensation offered. Below, you can find the maximum compensation offered by different bus companies.

  • Greyhound: $250 max
  • megabus: $250 max
  • Jefferson Lines: $250 max
  • Peter Pan Bus Lines: $250 max
  • BoltBus: No compensation
  • RedCoach: $250 max

Passenger accessibility on intercity buses

Under regulations from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), all buses from fixed-route operators must be accessible. This means they must implement accessibility features, such as lifts and securement devices.

Bus companies must also provide passengers with disabilities assistance when boarding and exiting buses at rest stops. Additionally, they must allow customers in wheelchairs to complete their reservations online. In general, the ADA seeks to “guarantee that all passengers with disabilities have equal access to transportation services.”

Compensation in case of accidents

Unfortunately, there’s little information about regulations covering compensation in case of accidents on intercity buses in America. As a result, bus accident victims must prove negligence before they can receive compensation. Reckless driving and equipment failure can count as negligence. However, passengers must prove such cases by means such as police reports or audiovisual material.

By contrast, the European Union’s regulations stipulate all bus accident victims receive immediate assistance. However, compensation is guaranteed only in case of death (from €220,000).

If you are unsure about your passenger rights during your past and future trips, contact your bus operator for specific information.

Know your rights on board

Know your rights

The rights passengers usually enjoy are provided by individual bus companies. It is always good, before leaving, to ask about traffic conditions, delays and cancellations. If you’re traveling abroad, research your rights in your holiday location that do not correspond to those in your country.

However, knowing your rights is the first step. Then, you must understand how to get compensation in case there’s a cancellation, delay or strike. This applies to all modes of travel. Taking a train, for example, has the biggest risk of delays, strikes, cancellations. In Europe, if a train is delayed by more than 60 minutes, the railway company offers a full refund or covers the part of the journey not yet made. When you travel, a little research goes a long way.

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