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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –

Source: Destatis Federal Statistical Office

Press release No. 424 from October 28, 2020

Corona crisis leads to a collapse in passenger numbers in long-distance and local transport, especially in the 2nd quarter of 2020
Experimental data show a 88% decrease in daily long-distance rail journeys in April 2020 compared to the previous year
Increase in the number of daily journeys in long-distance rail traffic by the beginning of August 2020 to around 30% below the previous year’s level, in October another decrease to around 50% below the previous year’s level.

WIESBADEN – In the first half of 2020, there were only half as many long-distance passengers traveling by bus and train in Germany as in the first half of 2019. Due to the corona pandemic, the number of 45 million passengers was 46% lower than in the same period of the previous year . As the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) also reports, 41 million passengers traveled 43% less in long-distance rail transport than in the first half of 2019. In regular bus services, the number of passengers even fell by two thirds (-67%) to 3.5 million back.

In local transport, which accounted for almost 99% of all scheduled services in the first half of 2019, the declines in the first half of 2020 cannot yet be definitively measured. According to preliminary results, there were 874 million passengers in local rail transport, more than a third (-37%) fewer people than in the first half of 2019. With the currently reported data for local public transport with buses (-22%) and trams (- 24%), however, it can be assumed that these do not fully reflect the actual declines – among other things because many passengers in local transport have season tickets, but probably used them comparatively rarely due to the pandemic situation. Therefore, the reporting values ​​will be revised by the transport companies.

Three quarters fewer long-distance travelers from April to June 2020

The decisive factor for the enormous decline in passenger numbers in the first half of 2020 was the second quarter, which was shaped by the Corona crisis: from April to June 2020, three quarters (-75%) fewer people were traveling by bus and train in long-distance traffic than in the same period of the previous year, long-distance rail traffic counted 71% fewer passengers and regular bus services almost came to a standstill with 96% fewer passengers. According to preliminary results, 59% fewer people used local rail transport than in the same period of the previous year. In the case of the declines in local public transport with buses (-36%) and trams (-41%), it can also be assumed that the preliminary data reported by the transport companies do not fully reflect the actual declines.

Scheduled transport by buses and trains in 2020 (local transport: preliminary results)
Type of traffic
Passengers
Transport service
millions
Change compared to the same period of the previous year 2019 in%
Millions of people-kilometers
Change compared to the same period of the previous year 2019 in%
As a result of multiple counts of transferring passengers (a passenger uses several means of transport of a company during one trip), the total number of passengers according to the means of transport is higher than the total number of passengers in local public transport. Including S-Bahn. Trams and light rail vehicles (including elevated, underground and suspension railways). () Informational value limited, as the numerical value is uncertain. preliminary figures
Total scheduled services
(4 298)
(-27)
(49 855)
(-36)
from that:
Local transport
(4,253)
(-26)
(36)
(-31)
Transportation trips 1
with railways 2
874 (a)
-37 (a)
16 566 (a)
-39 (a)
with trams 3
(1 567)
(-24)
(6,777)
(-23)
with buses
(2 084)
(-22)
(13 793)
(-22)
Long-distance transport
45
-46.1
12 719
-46.9
with railways
41
-43.2
11 764
-44.3
with buses
3.5
-66.6
956
-66.6
Including: Promotions in the 2nd quarter of 2020
Total scheduled services
(1 634)
(-44)
(16 639)
(-58)
from that:
Local transport
(1 623)
(-43)
(13 521)
(-50)
Transportation trips 1
with railways 2
284 (a)
-59 (a)
5 192 (a)
-62 (a)
with trams 3
(601)
(-41)
(2,642)
(-40)
with buses
(841)
(-36)
(5 686)
(-35)
Long-distance transport
11
-74.7
3 118
-75.7
with railways
11
-71.5
3 063
-72.8
with buses
0.2
-96.2
55
-96.5

Experimental data allow mobility to be evaluated on a daily basis

Due to the uncertainties in the reporting data of the transport companies, the Federal Statistical Office also evaluated experimental mobile phone data separately according to the means of transport used in order to show changes in travel behavior. On the basis of this anonymized movement data, a decline in mobility of the population across Germany can be seen in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in the previous year. The number of measured movements fell particularly sharply in the 2nd quarter of 2020, when mobility across all modes of transport fell by around 17% compared to the 2nd quarter of 2019.

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Mobility in October 2020: up to 50% fewer long-distance travel by train than in the previous year

The cellular data enables conclusions to be drawn on the day-to-day basis about the use of various modes of transport over distances of over 50 kilometers. Changes in long-distance travel can thus be mapped more up-to-date. In local transport, however, it is not possible to differentiate between modes of transport. With the implementation of the measures to contain the corona pandemic in mid-March 2020, the mobility figures in long-distance rail transport already fell significantly. In the course of April, the decrease in daily journeys by train over distances of more than 50 kilometers averaged 88% compared to the previous year. Between the end of April and the beginning of August, the number of long-distance rail journeys rose steadily again, but the daily average was still around 30% below the previous year’s level. Since then, another decline has been observed. This trend intensified again in October, so that the number of daily journeys in long-distance rail traffic is now up to 50% below the previous year’s figures.

The background to the uncertainties in the information for the 2nd quarter of 2020 is that many passengers use time tickets in local transport and the frequency of use under the conditions of the corona pandemic is different than under normal conditions. Passenger surveys by companies were hardly possible due to the pandemic situation and automatic passenger counting systems are not yet in use across the board. The results for districts in which companies use automatic passenger counting systems showed significantly greater declines than the national average. The Federal Statistical Office is therefore assuming that the data currently available are underestimating the declines in local line traffic with buses and trams and expects the reporting values ​​to be revised by companies. Since passenger counts are used more frequently in rail traffic, this data is considered to be more reliable, but revisions can still occur here. In some federal states, estimates based on the average decreases for the modes of transport in the respective federal state were determined for the results of the 2nd quarter of 2020 in the case of implausible information.

The area “EXDAT – experimental data“On the website of the Federal Statistical Office offers additional information on the data set as well as further analyzes of changes in mobility in the corona crisis.

Contact for more information

MIL OSI

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

MIL Translation OSI