Rail travel increases while car travel shrinks

Berlin. According to the latest data from the Federal Statistics Office (destatis), passenger rail transport continued to grow in 2010.

Whereas personal motorised transport has stagnated in recent years, there has again been a considerable increase in public passenger rail transport. The latest destatis figures show that the performance (passenger-kilometres) of the railways in long-distance transport increased by 3.5 percent. Regional transport grew by 0.4 percent, according to the statistics. "With a total increase of 1.7 percent in 2010, growth in the railways was once again faster than car transport," said Dirk Flege, managing director of the Pro-Rail Alliance on Friday in Berlin. This trend has now been apparent for a good ten years, said Flege. He referred to a long-term market study on the development of rail and car travel, published by the Federal Network Agency in January 2011. It shows an increase in the number of passenger-kilometres travelled on trains by 17 percent between 2002 and 2008. In the same period, car transport shrank by 1 percent.

The question of what passengers in Germany and Europe really want is something that a team of experts from five European countries has been looking into since January. Researchers from Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Belgium responded to an invitation by the Pro-Rail Alliance to come to Berlin to discuss an approach for assessing how the mode of transport is chosen. Within the framework of the EU sponsored project USEmobility, citizens who have recently changed their mode of transport will for the first time be interviewed. "With this approach we are expecting to obtain a clear set of requirements for transport policy. What needs to happen so that people move away from single mode car transport and switch to multi mode public transport," said the Pro-Rail Alliance's manager. The USEmobility project - Understanding Social behaviour for Eco-friendly multimodal mobility - will delivers its conclusions on March 2013. The project is being managed by the Pro-Rail Alliance.

Behavioural change in mobility: Trains in the ascendancy Development of transport performance in passenger-kilometres (percentage) (From top to bottom: market as a whole - railways - cars and motorcycles)