Choose your language

IRU Passenger Transport Council

Passenger Transport Council

Permanent working programme

The general aim of the IRU Passenger Transport Council is to define and attain IRU`s transport policy objectives pursuant to Article 2 of the IRU Constitution, with a view on promoting, advancing and safeguarding the interests of the passenger road transport industry nationally and internationally.
In the context of the above general objectives, the CTP overall priorities are to:

  • contribute to the facilitation of passenger transport by bus and coach, by eliminating barriers and difficulties hindering the progress of the industry, as well as to oppose any measures that are against this mode of transport; and
  • promote the economic, social and environmental objectives of sustainable development in the passenger transport sector.

Working programme for 2021

The passenger road transport industry has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the majority of the transport operators have difficulty to cope with the COVID 19 economic impact. At the same time, and with a view to containing the spread of COVID-19, many countries around the world have placed restrictions on national mobility and cross border passenger transport in a rather uncoordinated way. The extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 crisis is asking for an appropriate level of importance and relevant focus for the CTP and its members. Unfortunately, it is still too soon to draw consistent lessons of the impact from the pandemic on the industry. We need to be conscious of the industry needs, especially, at the time of re-launch once an acceptable safety level and passengers’ confidence is reached post-COVID. In this respect, the adoption of the CTP Working Programme for 2021 is expected to be evaluated based on the priorities that are appropriate at that time.

People - Driver shortage and enforcement

Increasing digitalisation, automation and new mobility patterns are creating new opportunities, along with new challenges. Drivers need to adapt and learn new skills. The sector needs to attract younger workforce, at the backdrop of persisting skills shortages and difficulties for potential candidates to enter the driver’s profession. Market access continues to be an issue across the regions of the world and the operational and regulatory environment for the passenger transport operators need to be on a level playing field.

Implement IRU’s Driver Shortage Road Map Campaign and Drivers’ on the Road priorities. Focus on finalising the short-term priority issues in 2021, and start implementing the ten recommendations for a vision and strategy of enforcement in the digital age. Due attention to the rules adopted by the EU in Mobility Package 1 and its impact on third countries shall be part of the strategy discussions. Ensure better market access rules and a level playing field in the passenger transport sector.


  • Reduce and harmonise the minimum age for trained young professional road transport drivers to 18 in key transport markets including North and South America, Europe and Asia.
  • A revision of the Driving Licence legislation should advocate to remove the distance limitations and to align minimum driver age limits for bus and coaches drivers with those applicable to truck drivers (18-year old). In addition, introduce a genuine D1 driving licence allowing these drivers to drive passenger transport vehicles of 21+1 seats (currently 16+1).
  • Implement CTP Action Plan to achieve specific driving and rest time rules derogation for coach tourism drivers;
  • A set of European Commission official answers and guidance notes on implementing and enforcing critical aspects of Mobility Package 1, especially, relating to the driver rest times rules for passenger transport where there is a 2 year window of opportunity to assist/contribute towards the analysis of the rules before they are adopted by the European Commission.
  • Approval, by the UNECE SC.1 Working Party, of Appendix 1C (introduction of the smart tachograph) of the AETR Agreement.
  • In support of road safety, roll out the IRU RoadMasters Programmes in partnership with members in five countries.

Prosperity – Data and digitalisation

In 2020, sharing of business data and the push to further digitalise passenger transport during COVID times is very evident. One specific development is the publication by the European Commission of its digital and data strategy. It is expected that legislative proposals governing data and platform responsibilities will follow in 2021. Similar developments are taking place across the globe where transport operators are mandated by law to share commercially sensitive data with third parties. The passenger transport sector is an important data generator and an increasingly important platform user. Hence, the sector both at global and at regional level has a vested interest in fair data and platform governance that benefits everyone.

Influence legislators on matters relating to data and digitalisation in passenger transport to enact legislative frameworks, which carefully consider and take into account the interest of transport operators as generators of large volumes of data.


  • Develop a position paper on the activities and responsibilities of platforms operating in the passenger sector (for instance, to influence the upcoming EU Digital Services Act) which will regulate the responsibilities of platforms.
  • Specifically, monitor and engage with the policy makers on proposals relating to i) recovery funding schemes, such as Next Generation EU, linking to digitalisation of the sector; ii) regulating data and digital services, taking into account the interests of the passenger transport sector.
  • Engage with external stakeholders by i) following up on the Joint Statement on b2b data signed by associations representing the entire transport sector when the legislative proposals on data regulation will be tabled in 2021; ii) enlarging partnerships with other sectors beyond transport who have similar interest in this matter; and iii) working on joint key messages as a transport sector relating to platform responsibility (specifically, in the context of the upcoming Digital Services Act in the EU).
  • Globally, engage with international organisations and international trade associations in the transport sector and beyond on matters relating to data and digitalisation in passenger transport to develop good practices and code of conducts on data sharing which carefully consider and take into account the interest of transport operators.

Environment – Decarbonisation

Following the Paris Climate Agreement, which sets an ambitious global pathway to limit temperature change to 2°C, decarbonisation of passenger transport has been a priority for international organisations such as OECD, ITF and European Commission, as well as national governments. Over the coming years, we will see implementation of a combination of legislative and non-legislative measures that will further decarbonise the commercial road transport.
More specifically, decarbonisation in passenger transport has been a key priority of the current European Commission, since the adoption and the publication of the communication and roadmap on the European Green Deal in December 2019. Various dossiers are under review in 2021 that includes, the EU Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (DAFI), the EU Energy Taxation Directive and the Road User Charging Directive (Eurovignette). In addition, the Urban Mobility Package will be announced that will also deal with vehicle access restrictions (UVARs), which is of interest to the passenger transport sector.

Implement IRU’s 2050 vision on the decarbonisation of road transport and advocate for consistent rules at national, regional and global, which gives our sector the confidence and security to invest in cleaner and more efficient technologies. Specific attention should focus on promoting collective passenger transport, including, long distance travel, on the creation of investment incentives through the revision of the rules on alternative fuels, CO2 standards, energy taxation and road user charging.


  • Ensure further incentives are provided for alternative fuel vehicles in the upcoming proposals on Energy Taxation, when it comes to the deployment of alternative fuels, recharging and refuelling infrastructure and road infrastructure charging.
  • Contribute to the development of a new CO2 measuring methodology in 2021 based on a well-to-wheel approach for the purpose of the expected revision of the CO2 standards for busses and coaches.
  • Monitor and follow-up on the funding proposals, for instance, Next Generation in the EU, to support the recovery of the road transport sector, where support can be linked to decarbonisation initiatives in the sector.
  • Launch and promote among the stakeholders the pledge on Urban Vehicle Access Restrictions (UVARs) for coach transport sector in collaboration with associations that have similar interest. For instance, in Europe, currently discussions are ongoing with POLIS.
  • Develop a position paper on the role of collective passenger transport and its contribution to the decarbonisation of road transport sector. Ensure the Urban Mobility Package provides policy support to collective passenger transport and EU level rules are framed to harmonise the urban vehicle access restrictions (UVARs) across European Union