This year, commuters with a Südtirol Pass or Euregio Family Pass will once again receive a small compensation to make up for delays and cancellations in regional rail transport: On 22 May, the “commuter bonus” incentive for 2021 will be credited to their account or pass
A small gesture to sweeten the wait: At the initiative of the mobility department at the South Tyrolean government, whenever railway operators accumulate too many cancellations and/or delays, fines are imposed and then passed on to commuters affected by the disruptions as a small compensation.
This means that passengers who regularly travel on Trenitalia and SAD trains are entitled to a maximum payment of 65 EUR per year – the so-called commuter bonus, which is calculated and paid out to them for any month in which they have checked in with their Südtirol Pass or Euregio Family Pass at least 30 times.
This year, a total of 5,043 passengers will receive payments for commuter journeys made in 2021, amounting to a whopping 213.000 EUR. Thanks to detailed data sets, the exact amount to be reimbursed can be calculated per individual passenger and month. 1889 people are credited with the maximum amount of 65 EUR. A total of 162 people receive less than 10 EUR.
They will receive this year’s payment on 22 May 2023: either as a top-up addition to any remaining credit on their pre-paid pass or as a refund on their next Südtirol Pass invoice.
Commuter bonus: a key component of the Quality Charter
Providing financial compensation for repeated delays and cancellations in rail transport is a key component of the Quality Charter agreed between the railway operators and the South Tyrol Centre for Consumer Protection. The measure is based on Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 on rail passengers’ rights and obligations and indirectly also aims to safeguard and further improve the quality of rail services.
The payments are financed by means of the monthly penalties for delays and cancellations that are contractually agreed between Trenitalia, SAD and the South Tyrolean authorities. Such fines are imposed whenever the percentage of delays per month exceeds a pre-defined limit established for each railway line by more than one percentage point.A delay is any instance in which a train arrives more than five minutes after the time scheduled according to its timetable. It’s worth pointing out that delays are often caused by maintenance, repair and construction work along the railway lines and infrastructure.