Mobility Package

Mobility Package 2 or the Clean Mobility Package includes several legislative proposals for the road transport sector which aim to accelerate the transition to low and zero emission vehicles and fight climate change.


Bus and coach market
access rules

The European Commission’s proposal to reform the rules on access to the bus and coach market will remove obstacles to the growth of inter-urban bus and coach transport. Reforming these rules is crucial, as even small increases in the availability of these services yields massive societal benefits:

Increasing the share of bus and coach transport in the EU by even a mere 1 percent would allow an 11 percent increase in demand for bus and coach operators and show immediate social, economic and environmental benefits to the populations they serve. Greater availability of buses and coaches means more employment opportunities, improved road safety, climate change mitigation, reduced air pollution, and greater connectivity for disadvantaged social groups.

The impact of increasing the share of bus and coach transport by 1%

EUR 1,560 million

in administrative savings for businesses and administrations


new jobs

EUR 2.8 billion

in accident cost savings

62 billion pkm

increase in connectivity for disadvantaged social groups

EUR 183 million

in CO2 emission savings

EUR 590 million

savings in air pollution

Source: European Commission, 2017

Ensuring fair competition

The European Commission proposal seeks to open up national markets to buses and coaches. Ensuring fair competition and equal application of regulatory requirements, however, requires striking a balance between the opening of markets and the protection of public service obligations.

Market competition in some EU countries is already well-regulated through national tendering, in which public service contracts are awarded only after a bidding process by a multitude of established operators. There are other EU countries, however, which do not allow competitive national tendering and instead award contracts directly. Direct award of contracts limits competition and therefore the Commission’s proposal should only affect EU countries which do not allow competitive tendering.

Coach operators who offer regular national services should be established in the country in which they operate, for example having an office in the country. This condition, if made mandatory, would guarantee fair competition as all operators would need to be in compliance with the same regulatory requirements. These may include: conditions for the transport contract; weights and dimensions; driving times and rest periods; tax obligations; and any other operational aspects such as addressing environmental concerns or ensuring accessibility for people with mobility impairments.

Access to terminals

Bus and coach operators should have access to passenger terminals, multimodal terminals and terminals originally designed for other modes of transport. Terminal access facilitates the integration of long-distance coach services into intermodal collective transport networks.

Occasional services

International closed-door coach tours start and end in the same European country. The coach operator and the tourists who are passengers both come from the country, but the coach operator is in this case providing services in another European country. Local excursions within the destination country are short transfers on these tours: for example to take their fellow nationals sightseeing, to eat at local restaurants and to return to their hotel.

Local excursions in the context of international closed-door coach tours must be distinguished from normal cabotage operations, as the latter are not connected with an incoming and/or outgoing international operation.

The European Commission proposal to remove this distinction would have a negative impact both for visiting and for local coach operators. Without recognising local excursions as a separate activity from cabotage, foreign companies could be allowed to permanently offer their services in EU countries where they have no permanent establishment. This would distort national markets due to the present lack of social and fiscal harmonisation across EU countries.

Download the IRU
Mobility Package 2


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