More than two thirds of EU citizens are satisfied with urban public transport – but too few use it on a regular basis
The European Commission has published today the results of a Eurobarometer survey on urban public transport. According to the survey 69% of EU citizens are satisfied with public transportation, although the numbers vary widely across the EU, ranging from 88% at the highest to 31% at the lowest. Furthermore, only 32% of Europeans make use of public transportation at least once a week and nearly one fourth never do.
The survey also shows that Europeans have good access to urban public transportation: 77% are less than 10 minutes away from the nearest station or stop. Due to differences in the offer, people in large towns are more likely to use public transportation on a regular basis (51%) than those in small and mid-sized towns (27%) or in villages (20%). Ticket prices seem to be a point of concern as only 39% of EU citizens are satisfied with fares.
Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for mobility and transport, said: "I am happy that most citizens are satisfied with such an important public service, but much still needs to be done. We have to understand why public transport is not used more regularly, how to improve service in smaller towns, and respond to the changing needs of urban mobility to meet people's demands - I am thinking of high-quality service, and an efficient, financially and environmentally sustainable public transport offer."
EU rules set out the basic common legal framework for the market organisation and financing of public transport services by bus, tram, metro and rail in the Member States in order to establish a functioning internal market. It is then the task of Member States' authorities and public transport operators to ensure a high level of operational and financial performance as well as quality of public transport services within this framework.
Other results from the survey:
- At least half of respondents in all European countries think buying tickets is easy. On average, 73% of Europeans are satisfied. Respondents are most satisfied in Latvia (86%), Finland (84%) and Spain (83%), and least satisfied in the Netherlands (50%), Cyprus (55%) and Sweden (59%).
- The level of satisfaction with the facilities provided at stations and stops is good. Overall, 61% of Europeans are satisfied with this. Almost one third is not satisfied. Respondents are most satisfied in Luxembourg (76%), Finland (74%), Lithuania (73%) and the United Kingdom (73%), and least satisfied in Malta (31%), Italy (42%) and Romania (50%).
- Europeans are mostly satisfied with the frequency of public transport services (69%). Respondents were most satisfied in Luxembourg (83%), the United Kingdom (79%) and France (77%), and least satisfied in Malta (34%), Cyprus (49%) and Slovenia (55%).
- A great majority of respondents from EU Member States are satisfied with the punctuality and reliability of urban public transportation (70%). The most satisfied are from Finland (84%), the Czech Republic (83%) and Luxembourg (82%); the least satisfied from Malta (22%), Cyprus (54%) and Italy (58%).
- Tickets prices are a concern for many Europeans: on average, only 39% said they were satisfied. Respondents were most positive in Malta (61%), Luxembourg (64%) and Cyprus (48%), and most negative in Hungary (27% satisfaction), Portugal (31%) and Spain (34%).
The survey was conducted, for the first time on this subject at EU level, with 28,000 EU citizens. The analysis complements a recent survey on "Attitudes of Europeans towards urban mobility" (Special Eurobarometer 406, December 2013 ) accompanying the Commission's proposals for an "urban mobility package" adopted on 17 December 2013.
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