Passenger Transport Act (Germany)

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Basic data
Title: Passenger Transport Act
Abbreviation: PBefG
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Commercial administrative law , traffic law
References : 9240-1
Original version from: March 21, 1961
( BGBl. 1961 I p. 241 )
Entry into force on: January 1, 1964
New announcement from: August 8, 1990
Last change by: Art. 329 Regulation of June 19, 2020
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 1328, 1366 )
Effective date of the
last change:
June 27, 2020
(Art. 361 of June 19, 2020)
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The regulations of the German Passenger Transport Act (PBefG) regulate the transport of people.


According to § 1  PBefG, the paid or business-like transport of people by trams , trolleybuses ( trolleybuses ) and motor vehicles is subject to approval. The remuneration also includes economic advantages that are indirectly sought for the profitability of an employment supported in this way.

Promotions are not subject to this law

  1. with passenger cars if the total payment does not exceed the operating costs of the trip;
  2. with ambulances , if sick, injured or other people in need are transported who require medical care or the special equipment of the ambulance during the journey or for whom this is to be expected due to their condition.


  • Once the approval has been granted, the entrepreneur has one
    • Obligation to  operate according to § 21 PBefG, as well as a
    • Transport  obligation according to § 22 PBefG (Unrestricted transport obligation only exists in bus, trolleybus and tram traffic according to the more detailed provisions of § 22  PBefG (for the conditions of transport and restrictions on the transport obligation, the regulations of BOKraft - there in particular §§ 13 to 15 -., BOStrab and General conditions (ABB) or BedBefV resorted) constraints of transport duty can be used for special regular traffic to § 43 , § 45  paragraph 3 PBefG apply.. taxi transport carriage is compulsory only in the duty drive range ( § 47  para. 4 in conjunction with Section 51  Paragraph 1 Clause 1 and 2, Paragraph 2 Clause 1 PBefG).)
  • As of January 1, 2013, the previously existing restrictions on long-distance bus routes parallel to rail passenger transport and the previous protection of competitors from other long-distance bus companies were lifted. In contrast to local public transport , in which there is still protection against parallel traffic, such traffic is not permitted if it serves a stop distance of less than 50 km or there is a parallel rail service with travel times of less than an hour. In such cases, long-distance buses are forbidden to operate en route .
    • Previous history : The Passenger Transport Act so far banned companies from serving each other at stops on domestic routes, "if the requested traffic is supposed to take over traffic tasks that existing companies or railways are already doing without any significant improvement in traffic service ". ( Section 13  (2) PBefG) On the other hand, according to the view that is now emerging (in particular due to the EU's transport policy), competition should in principle be encouraged. In this regard, the Federal Administrative Court (BVerwG) ruled on June 24, 2010 that - contrary to decades of practice - a clear price advantage for a bus connection compared to existing rail connections can represent a "significant improvement" within the meaning of Section 13 (2) PBefG . The Federal Cabinet then decided on August 3, 2011 to change the PBefG accordingly and thus enable long-distance bus routes to be largely approved. On September 14, 2012, the parliamentary groups of the CDU / CSU, the SPD, the FDP and Bündnis90 / Die Grünen agreed to introduce a joint amendment to the government draft in the Bundestag and to discuss it in autumn 2012; The Federal Council approved the amended draft law on November 2, 2012, so that the law came into force on January 1, 2013.
  • On December 3, 2009, Regulation (EC) No. 1370/2007 came into force as part of the so-called Third Railway Package of the European Parliament and of the Council of October 27, 2007 on public passenger transport services by rail and road. The EC regulation (which takes precedence over the PBefG as a regulation under European law) causes some points of friction with the design of the national legal framework, the legal solution of which has not yet been finally clarified. An adaptation of the PBefG to the changed European legal framework initially failed due to different conflicts of interest in the legislative process. The agreement of the parliamentary groups of the CDU / CSU, the SPD, the FDP and Bündnis90 / Die Grünen on September 14, 2012 enabled the corresponding adaptation of the German legal framework to European law to be implemented. In particular, this provides for systematic tenders for transport services; Direct awards are only possible under certain conditions. However, very long transition periods are also set until the new regulations are fully applied.

Modes of transport

The Passenger Transport Act differentiates between trams, trolleybuses and motor vehicles. In motor vehicle traffic, a distinction is made between regular and occasional traffic . Different variants are assigned to these transports:

Scheduled traffic § 42  PBefG Occasional traffic § 46  PBefG

For deviating from the characteristics of the designated in PbefG modes of transport transport services such as. On-demand traffic or demand services are in accordance with § 2  para. 6 PBefG approvals under those provisions of PbefG issued, which are similar to these offers best. For the testing of new modes of transport, permits according to Section 2  (7) PBefG are possible for a maximum of four years.

Approval requirement

In the Passenger Transport Act, the  following cases are subject to approval in accordance with Section 9 PBefG:

  • Construction, operation and routing of trams
  • Construction, operation and routing of trolleybuses
  • Establishment, routing and operation of regular services with motor vehicles
  • Operation of occasional traffic with motor vehicles
  • Form of occasional traffic and vehicles to be used for occasional traffic with passenger vehicles

The approval of the approval authorities also requires:

  • Transport fees and conditions of carriage for traffic with trams ( § 39  PBefG), trolleybuses ( § 41  PBefG in conjunction  with § 39 PBefG) and regular services with motor vehicles ( § 45  PBefG in conjunction  with § 39 PBefG, with the exception of the transport fees in long-distance traffic with motor vehicles)
  • Timetables and changes to them, unless they are minor or as part of a public transport offer ordered in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 1370/2007 , in these cases a notification is sufficient ( § 40  PBefG).
  • Suspension of a regular service ( Section 21  PBefG, does not apply to long-distance services)
  • Change of the managing director or the traffic manager ( § 25  PBefG in conjunction with § 13  PBefG)
  • Changes in the vehicle fleet for occasional passenger car traffic ( Section 17  (2) PBefG)

In addition, the entrepreneurs are obliged to report all significant changes in the approval facts ( § 54  PBefG).

Authorization for regular or occasional traffic with motor vehicles


For the commercial operation of buses and coaches one is approval from the Department of Transportation needed. Exceptions are listed in the exemption regulation . For the application, evidence of the natural person, the legal person and the technical and specialist knowledge must be available. The requirements for approval as an entrepreneur are based on the requirements of Regulation (EC) No. 1071/2009 . The following documents must be available:

person documents
... the natural person

Expertise and expertise

The most important part of the application must be proof of specialist knowledge. To do this, the traffic manager must have successfully passed a test for passenger transport. The documents to be submitted differ in two cases:

Traffic manager = applicant Traffic manager = other person
Technical and technical knowledge according to EU 1071 of the IHK
  • Technical and technical knowledge according to EU 1071 of the IHK
  • certificate in tax matters
  • Certificate of good conduct for submission to an authority
  • Extract from the central trade register for submission to an authority
  • Employment contract with the applicant

More documents

In addition to the natural person, documents must also be submitted for the legal person. These are at least:

person documents
... for the legal person

The other documents differ according to the type of company:

Commercial form Company type documents
Businessman (not entered in the commercial register) eK
Businessman (registered in the commercial register) eK
  • Clearance certificate from the health insurance company
  • Clearance certificate BG Verkehr
  • Extract from the commercial register
Companies GmbH , GmbH & Co. KG , UG
  • Clearance certificate from the health insurance company
  • Clearance certificate BG Verkehr
  • certificate in tax matters
  • Extract from the central trade register for submission to an authority
  • Extract from the commercial register
  • Deed of registration
  • Managing director employment contract
  • List of shareholders
  • Social contract
society e. V.


The hearing in accordance with Section 14 (2) PBefG begins with the application . All offices have 14 days to comment on the application and to raise objections or concerns. The hearing differs between the initial and subsequent application as well as between the type of traffic.

Request Line bus traffic Occasional traffic
Initial application
  • IHK
  • guild
  • Trade association
  • commercial office
Follow-up application
  • Transport authority
  • Traffic authorities

Further positions

If problems become apparent from the documents or the comments received, other bodies can be heard or documents requested. These are:


For Berlin, the State Office for Citizens and Regulatory Affairs performs the tasks according to the PBefG. Various institutions are consulted as part of an application:

Request Line bus traffic Occasional traffic
Initial application
Follow-up application
  • Public transport authority
  • District road traffic authority
  • Traffic management Berlin (VLB)
  • IHK Berlin
  • Haulage Guild
  • BG Verkehr
  • State Office for Occupational Safety, Health and Technical Safety
  • Trade office of the district
Time display Traffic authorities The application type does not exist in occasional traffic.


An intensive examination takes place after the consultation process has been completed. For this, the documents must be complete and correct. The examination includes a review of the documents and a query in the register of fitness to drive . With regard to the traffic manager, compliance with the maximum number of vehicles is checked. To get an overview of the company, the authority can do research on the homepage and in the imprint . In regular services, the timetable is also used to check whether the regulations on driving and rest times are being adhered to and whether the maximum speed limit on motorways is feasible at all. On the basis of all information it must be determined that the financial performance, the personal reliability and the professional suitability are given.


The fee is based on the cost ordinance and the standard rate catalog.


The decision is announced as an administrative act in the form of a notice of approval . The components differ according to the type of traffic:

Type of traffic Notification investment
Line service D Timetable
Scheduled services EU
  • Information on the application
  • Specifications for the operation of a line
  • Validity period
  • Lines and stops
  • Statement on domestic operation (cabotage)
  • Operating prohibitions
  • Ancillary provisions (conditions and requirements including justification for the measures)
  • Reason for approval
  • Hints
  • fees
  • Legal appeal
  • Waiver of appeal
  • approved timetable
  • Line sketch
Scheduled services in third countries
  • Information on the application
  • Details of the applicant
  • Information about the partner
  • Information about the line
  • Lines and stops including the border crossings
  • Conditions and requirements
  • Stop regulations
  • fees
  • Legal appeal
  • Waiver of appeal
  • approved timetable
  • Line sketch
  • Information sheet on sales tax

If the test reveals that the implementation cannot be approved, a refusal occurs . This is possible, for example, in the case of serious criminal offenses, bankruptcy of the managing director or repeated violations of the Passenger Transport Act.


As soon as the decision has become lawful through the signature of the waiver of legal remedies or the expiry of the deadline, a certificate will be issued . The components also differ according to the type of traffic and reflect the content of the decision. For regular services in EU countries, the certificate is issued as an EU community license . This is entered in the transport company file.

If a certificate is lost, it will be published in a declaration of nullity in the official gazette and a replacement will be issued for a fee.


The form of refusal is regulated by § 15  PBefG. It must be in writing. A refusal can occur if the requirements are not met, for example if the managing director has become insolvent or serious crimes have been committed. Further reasons arise from Article 6 of Regulation (EC) No. 1071/2009.

Changes to the vehicle fleet

For the expansion of the vehicle fleet in occasional passenger car traffic, a vehicle list, the registration certificate , an equity certificate and a current certificate in tax matters must be submitted to the traffic authorities. Then there is a hearing as in the approval process. The outcome of the proceedings and the fee are communicated by notification. After the waiver of legal remedies has been submitted, the certificates are issued. The exchange of a vehicle must be  notified in accordance with Section 54 (2) PBefG. The registration and registration in the database is free of charge.

Approval for a tram or trolleybus service

A prerequisite for a permit in accordance with § 9  PBefG for these types of transport is the previous planning approval in accordance with § 28  PBefG (for trolleybuses in conjunction with § 41  PBefG). For the route approval, in principle, comparable requirements apply to all regular services.

Changes through "Road Package"

The EU has decided on the so-called Road Package . This includes the EU regulations

  • Regulation (EC) No. 1071/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of October 21, 2009 laying down common rules for admission to the occupation of road transport operator and repealing Council Directive 96/26 / EC,
  • Regulation (EC) No. 1072/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 on common rules for access to the market for international road haulage ,
  • Regulation (EC) No. 1073/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of October 21, 2009 on common rules for access to the international road passenger transport market and amending Regulation (EC) No. 561/2006,

all of which will come into effect across the EU on December 4, 2011 (parts of Regulation (EU) 1072/09 came into force in 2010, namely the regulations on cabotage ).

It will / will be among other things

  • the entry requirements for both road haulage and road passenger transport have been revised and standardized across the EU,
  • EU permits are extended in time and provided with extension options,
  • Possibilities of refusal or revocation of permits are standardized, sometimes even tightened (the "seven deadly sins of freight transport" in Annex IV to Art. 6 of Regulation (EU) 1071/2009 - there is hardly any discretion for the competent authority in relation to these catalog acts ).
  • An EU-wide electronic central register for goods and passenger road transport companies has been introduced, which is to be implemented nationally in each member state.

The member states are obliged to adapt their existing national law by this point at the latest. As far as the EU regulations still allow leeway, these must be filled in by the member states. Since these are EU regulations, they will apply immediately in every member state from December 4, 2011.

The Road Package made changes to the Goods Transport Act (GüKG) and the Passenger Transport Act (PBefG) necessary, which the federal legislature implemented through a legislative resolution of 23 September 2011. The German ordinance “Professional access ordinance for goods transport (GBZugV)”, which is based on the GüKG, was adapted accordingly on December 21, 2011. The changes in the “Occupational Access Ordinance for Road Passenger Traffic (PBZugV)” were implemented in February 2013.

An electronic central register for goods and passenger road transport companies is also being introduced (transport company file -VUDat-) ; the German implementation regulation was also issued on December 21, 2011 as the “Transport Company Implementation Ordinance (VUDat-DV)”.

In the future, permits for passenger transport will be issued by the licensing authorities as follows:

  • Regular service with buses : 8 years (no change compared to the old legal situation)
  • Occasional traffic with buses: 10 years (new regulation due to the "Road Package")
  • Occasional traffic with motor vehicles: 5 years (no change compared to the old legal situation)

historical development

The Land Transport Act was first promulgated on December 4, 1934, and came into force on April 1, 1935. The reason for the legislation lay in the development of public transport, the individual modes of transport named in the law are similar and therefore a reorganization of local public transport with the tram (previously subject to railway legislation) and lines operated by motor vehicles (regulated in fragmented legislation : for passenger road lines beyond the boundaries of a municipality in an ordinance of the Reich President, for traffic within the places by regulations of the local police authority based on the Reichsgewerbeordnung) in a law.

The law was published again in the version of December 6, 1937 and later incorporated into the law of the Federal Republic of Germany; the first change here was on January 15, 1952.

For the GDR, the ordinance on passenger transport by motorized traffic, local traffic and passenger shipping (PBO) of March 18, 1976 (Journal of Laws of I No. 14 p. 206) applied from 1976 . It was replaced by the Unification Treaty of 1990 by the Passenger Transport Act (with provisions).

The law is also derived from the law on the simplification and cheaper administration and the law on the rebuilding of the empire , both from 1934.

The most important regulations that the Reich Minister of Transport issued on the basis of an authorization in Section 39 of the Act on the Operation of Transport Companies, and in the case of trams also on construction, are:

  1. the Ordinance on the Operation of Motor Vehicles in Passenger Transport (BOKraft) of February 13, 1939, in force from April 1, 1939,
  2. the Ordinance on the Construction and Operation of Trams - Tram Construction and Operating Regulations (BOStrab) of November 13, 1937, in force from April 1, 1938.

Both ordinances later became federal law.


The Passenger Transport Act is particularly important in the discussion on the entry of Ridesharing - and Ride Selling publishers to provide as Uber or MyTaxi come under criticism. Above all, his regulations on taxi and rental car traffic are viewed by these new providers as antiquated and inflexible. The Monopolies Commission and the sociologist Andreas Knie, who researches the field of car sharing and the traffic turnaround , expressed a similar opinion . The taxi industry, on the other hand, emphasizes the protection of companies and customers from dumping and unfair competition associated with the regulations of the PBefG .


  • Thomas Hilpert: Passenger rights and obligations of public transport regular services according to the PBefG . Kölner Wissenschaftsverlag, Cologne 2012, ISBN 978-3-942720-18-2
  • Benjamin Linke: Ensuring the service of general interest in local public transport . Baden-Baden 2010, ISBN 978-3-8329-5502-1
  • Fromm, Fey, Sellmann, Zuck: Passenger transport law. Comment . 3. Edition. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2001
  • Michael Bauer: PBefG. Comment . 1st edition. Carl Heymanns Verlag, Cologne 2009
  • Bidinger et al. a .: Passenger transport law . Loose-leaf collection, Erich Schmidt publishing house, Berlin
  • Fielitz, Grätz: PBefG. Comment. Loose-leaf collection, Wolters Kluwer Publishing House, Cologne
  • Kober-Dehm, Helga / Meier-Beck, Peter: Current case law of the Federal Court of Justice on passenger transport and travel law . In: Reiserecht aktuell (RRa) 06/2011, p. (Previous article: The case law of the Federal Court of Justice on passenger transport and travel law in 2009 and 2010. In: Reiserecht aktuell (RRa) 06/2010, p. 250)
  • Hubertus Baumeister (Ed.): Law of the public transport. Practical manual for local transport with VO (EG) No. 1370/2007, PBefG and public transport laws of the federal states , Volume 2: Commentary, DVV Media Group, Hamburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-7771-0455-3
  • Saxinger / Winnes: Law of Local Public Transport . Loose-leaf collection, Carl Link Verlag, ISBN 978-3-556-06086-5

Web links


  1. Explanation: Section 1 (2) No. 1 PBefG primarily wants to exempt courtesy trips, such as taking acquaintances on vacation trips or colleagues on the trip to work, from the mandatory permit. Operating costs are not to be equated with prime costs. The term here only includes the “moving” costs of the trip for fuel, oil, tire wear, cleaning after the trip and the like. Fixed costs such as taxes, insurance and garage rental are not included. Total remuneration means the sum of the individual remuneration paid by passengers.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Fromm, Fey, Sellmann, Zuck: Passenger transport law. Comment . 3. Edition. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2001, § 1 PBefG, Rn. 7th
  2. cf. also VG Augsburg, judgment of August 4, 2009, Az. Au 3 K 08.1669, Rn. 34 with further evidence; published by Juris
  3. BVerwG, judgment of June 24, 2010, Az. 3 C 14.09
  4. Press release of the BVerwG No. 56/2010
  5. Press release No. 161/11 ( Memento of the original dated December 3, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development of August 3, 2011: "Federal Cabinet decides to liberalize long-distance bus services" @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. Press release ( memento of January 6, 2013 in the web archive ) of the BMVBS of September 14, 2012: "Breakthrough for the amendment of the Passenger Transport Act" (with a link to a corresponding press release by the parliamentary groups involved on the same day)
  7. 902nd meeting of the Federal Council on November 2, 2012, point 5 there (on Federal Council printed matter 586/12) Archived copy ( memento of the original of February 10, 2013 in the web archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and still Not checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. cf. also local public transport # Europarechtl
  9. Exemption Ordinance - accessed on June 22, 2019
  10. Full text of the Ordinance on Costs - accessed on May 28, 2019
  11. Guide rate catalog on the web - accessed on May 28, 2019
  12. Full text of the law - accessed on May 28, 2019
  13. Holger Zuck, Klaus-Albrecht Sellmann, Passenger Transport Law , 4th edition 2013
  14. Karl-Heinz Fielitz, Thomas Grätz, Comment on Passenger Transport Act , 2018
  15. Overview at the Federal Office for Goods Transport with additional links (including the EU regulations)
  16. Overview of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce with further information ( memento of the original from April 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  17. Report from the German Bundestag under the heading “Market access in road haulage newly regulated” on the draft law of the Federal Government to amend the Road Haulage Act and the Passenger Transport Act (BT-Drs. 17/6262)
  18. Professional access ordinance for road passenger traffic of June 15, 2000 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 851 ), which has been amended by Article 1 of the ordinance of February 22, 2013 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 347 ) [1]
  19. Ordinance on the implementation of the transport company file in accordance with the Road Haulage Act (Transport Company File Implementation Ordinance - VUDat-DV) of December 21, 2011 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 3126 ), PDF
  20. RGBl. I p. 1217
  21. RGBl. I p. 1319
  22. BGBl. 1952 I p. 21
  23. ↑ Revision status from December 15, 2010 here , original version under No. 15, accessed on October 27, 2017.
  24. RGBl. I p. 231
  25. RGBl. I p. 1247
  26. RP-online: A monopoly is wavering. The taxi industry is fighting against innovations. , June 2, 2015 , accessed July 26, 2017
  27. ^ Stefan Krempl: Net rules: sociologist calls for a ban on own cars. heise online, November 3, 2016 , accessed on July 26, 2017
  28. ^ Richard Leipold: Taxi trade in Berlin reports: Uber Black provisionally KO , Berliner Taxi-Vereinigung, January 15, 2016 , accessed on July 26, 2017