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Statistics Brief

The European Outlook: On track with light rail and tram systems

  • Europe
  • Advocacy
  • Passenger
  • Sustainability

Our latest Statistics Brief describes the evolution of light rail transit (LRT) in Europe.

he public transport sector is living through a special time for light rail and tram systems, as new developments in infrastructure bring ridership levels to new heights.

With continued pressure to reduce congestion, tackle air quality in cities and reduce greenhouse gas emission contributing to climate change, LRT will continue to ob­tain the support of decision-makers and the travelling public in Europe because LRT is clean, silent and space-efficient.

Towards the end of 2019, we heard all about the ‘Remarkable Renaissance’ of LRT with our latest Statistics Brief dedicated to the global landscape.

Now, as promised, our in-depth discussion on the stance in Europe of light rail and tram systems is here with the release of the Statistics Brief “Light Rail and Tram: The European Outlook”.

So what’s next for LRT in Europe?

LRT has seen a steady increase since the millennium, as we live through a remarkable renaissance with 108 new cities opening their first line – of which 70 are from Europe.

With a total annual ridership of 10,288 million, LRT carries as many passengers as metro and regional/commuter rail, and 10 times more passengers than air travel in Europe.

Between 2015 and 2018, 420 km of new LRT opened in Europe and this makes up 36% of LRT lines worldwide.

The exciting developments and achievements marked in this Statistics Brief mark a new level of success for trams and light rail at the European level.

The small railways certainly do not play a small role in the sustainability of European cities.

Much attention and resources will go into the maintenance, modernisation and replacement of assets to keep ageing systems attractive and fit for operational purpose…and our Statistics Brief with a European focus will detail where we stand.

Catch-up on the Global Viewpoint of Light Rail and Tram Systems

We’re hosting two training sessions on the rail sector with the UITP Academy in March…RAMS (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability & Safety) for Urban Rail and a Metro and Rail Study TourJoin us!

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