Passenger transport demand - outlook from EEA (Outlook 054) - Assessment published Jun 2007
Environmental scenarios (Primary topic)
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
- Outlook 054
Key policy question: Is there a trend of decoupling of passenger transport demand from economic growth?
The volume of transportation of passengers is projected to increase at a rate of 1.4% per year, between 2005 and 2030. In comparison to past trends, the scenario shows a slowdown in the rate of increase of activity. Forecasts predict a gradual decoupling of transportation activity from GDP growth, a trend which is expected to be more accentuated in the long term.
Fig.1. Passenger transport activity increase in comparison to GDP growth in EU 27, 1990-2030
The Baseline scenario of transportation activity, which includes details about flows of transportation between and within the EU Member-States, shows a gradual decoupling of transportation activity from GDP growth. This trend, which is more accentuated in the long term, is a combined result of productivity gains in transportation and certain saturation effects. The volume of transportation of passengers is projected to increase at a rate of 1.4% per year, between 2005 and 2030 In comparison to past trends, the scenario includes a slowdown in the rate of increase of activity.
As regards passenger transport the slowdown is related to the stability of EU-27 population and to a longer-term trend which involves lowering the long-term income-elasticity of transportation reflecting saturation. More specifically, energy related transport activity per capita is projected to reach 17908 km per annum in 2030 up from 12769 km per annum in 2005.
This considerable increase of transportation of passengers (42% higher in 25 years) is accompanied by changes in transport modes towards using faster means, such as fast trains and aviation, a trend which keeps the average time spent by person on transportation in this scenario within a realistic range.
Specific policy question: Is the share of passanger car transport in total inland transport being reduced relative to other transport modes?
Fig 2. Modal split of passenger transport in EU 27, 1990-2030
The projections in the baseline scenario show domination of transportation by cars and motorcycles and also show a noticeable growth of air transport. Aviation for passenger transport has been the fastest growing mode of transport in the recent past, driven by rising real incomes, the increased willingness to pay for leisure, the globalisation process and the liberalisation of the air transport market. Aviation activity is projected to grow at a rate of 3.1% per year in 2005-2030. The need for more long distance travel facilitated by high speed of air travel is expected to drive this rapid growth, despite the increase in air transport prices due to high oil prices. By 2030 the market share of aviation in passenger transport activity is projected to reach 12.2% in 2030, up from 8.1% in 2005.
Rail transport activity, which exhibited a decline between 1990 and 2005, is projected to display acceleration of growth from 2015 onwards (+1.6% pa in 2005-2030) as a result of new and upgraded infrastructure projects facilitating networks of high train speeds. In 2030 passenger rail activity is projected to account for 7.5% of total activity (+0.4 percentage points up from its level in 2005, +0.6 percentage points up from 2015 level).
On the contrary the shares of the other modes, such as public road transport (+0.6% per year growth in 2005- 2030), private cars and motorcycles (+1.3% pa) and inland navigation23 (+0.4% pa), are projected to slightly decline over the projection period. By 2030 road transport activity is projected to account for 79.7% of total activity down from 84.0% in 2005.
Input data to PRIMES - macro-economic data: demographics, antional accounts, sectoral activity and income variables - output from EUROSTAT data
Input data to PRIMES model - structure of energy consumtpion and structure of activity variables - output from EUROSTAT data
Output data from PRIMES - Passenger transport activity - output from PRIMES model
provided by Directorate-General for Energy and Transport
More information about this indicator
See this indicator specification for more details.
Contacts and ownership
EEA Contact InfoAnita Pirc Velkavrh
EEA Management Plan2010 (note: EEA internal system)
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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