Indicator Fact Sheet

Passenger transport demand by mode and purpose

Indicator Fact Sheet
Prod-ID: IND-35-en
  Also known as: TERM 012
This is an old version, kept for reference only.

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This page was archived on 12 Nov 2013 with reason: Content not regularly updated

Assessment made on  01 Apr 2004

Generic metadata



DPSIR: Driving force


Indicator codes
  • TERM 012

Policy issue:  Break the link between economic growth and passenger transport growth.


Key assessment

Transport demand grows

Passenger transport demand has grown steadily in the EEA-23 over the past decade, thereby making it increasingly difficult to reduce the environmental consequences of transport.

Most countries saw growth every year, but there are a few exceptions, notably Germany, where demand has declined since 1999.

Passenger transport demand per capita also increased during the nineties to above 10 000 km in the EEA-23 in 2001. There are several factors underlying the strong relation between passenger transport demand and economic growth and hence the continuing growth of passenger-km.

Decline of alternative modes

The slow decline of bus/coach and rail passenger transport demand is a problem in light of the objective of stabilizing and eventually increasing the shares of alternative modes. On EEA-23 level the decline is nevertheless slow. However, for the five new member states where data is available the decline has been much greater, and is probably greater yet if the 1990-1993 period is included. The decline may be related to increased car ownership in those countries. Intra-EU rail transport competes with air transport. The upcome of low-cost carriers has made rail transport less favoured for longer distances. Besides, international rail connections are still slowed down by border-crossings. High-speed rail lines are developing quickly to better compete with air transport, but, without internalizing the external costs of transport, air transport growth may continue to outpace growth in long-distance rail transport.



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