Measuring progress: European Ridership Data 2018

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Since 2014, UITP has been collecting data on ridership in 30 European countries. So far, this 5-year collection of data reveals the extent of Europe’s evolving public transport market. As of 2018, more than 51 billion total annual journeys were made by local public transport in the European countries analysed.

But why is it so important to highlight these measurements? Not only does ridership offer insights into how many people are using public transport, but where they are using it, the time of day and how often. Among other things, the ridership data can influence how public transport operators manage their operations and city authorities adopt policies and regulations all to further facilitate ridership.

Ridership data is a core indicator as to whether our sector is progressing. It is the essence of advancing public transport and the basis for our work.


Annual public transport journeys per capita, 2018

The data indicates fluctuations per year, but overall a solid ridership base that is increasing over time.
Data is also collected for the largest city in the country, with a comparison being made between demand per capita in the city and demand per capita in the country. As the graph below illustrates, ridership in the largest cities plays a prominent role for ridership in the country as a whole. Public transport is a significantly more prevalent choice for residents of the biggest cities,both benefitting from and contributing to higher concentrations of people and activities. 

Demand per capita at national level and in the largest city

UITP’s ridership data is collected at the national level for urban bus, tram, and metro transport services, and suburban bus services. Suburban rail services are not included in any of the countries. The data covers ridership up to the latest year for which figures are available. UITP is continuing to work with members to gather ridership data. This work enables our members to continue advancing public transport. Afterall, more ridership means reduced congestion and a huge decline in air pollution.

Access additional data and graphs on public transport ridership here!

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