Glossary:Transport mode

Transport mode refers to the way in which passengers and/or goods can be transported.

Transport modes for both passengers and goods may include:

  • rail;
  • maritime (sea);
  • road;
  • inland waterways
  • air.

Transport modes for passengers only may include:

  • passenger car;
  • powered two-wheelers;
  • bus;
  • coach;
  • tram;
  • metro.

Transport modes for goods only include:

  • pipelines.

The modal split of transport describes the relative share of each mode of transport, for example by road, rail or sea. It is based on passenger-kilometres (p-km) for passenger transport and tonne-kilometres (t-km) for freight or goods transport. The modal split is usually defined for a specific geographic area and/or time period.

In practice, an analysis of the modal split may exclude certain modes of transport. For example, the analysis may be limited to inland transport and therefore exclude sea transport.

Related concepts

Statistical data