Public transport use strongly affected by epidemic

Ljubljana – The latest Slovenian Energy Efficiency Survey shows that public transport is regularly used as a key mode of transport by around 10% of households, 53% use it very rarely, while 27% of households never use public transport. The survey results also show that the use of public transport has been strongly affected by the epidemic.

“The use of buses or trains instead of a car, which is the predominant mode of transport in Slovenian households, is important to reduce environmental impacts and the increasingly evident climate change,” said Informa Echo, the company behind the survey.

“But the use of public transport is somewhat hindered by the dispersed nature of the population in Slovenia, the fact that many suburban settlements do not have adequate public transport, and other personal reasons,” they added.

Informa Echo also pointed out that the mobility of households was strongly influenced by the measures taken to contain the spread of coronavirus in 2020 and 2021.

The changes were most evident in the case of students of all ages, as the situation caused them to mainly follow classes and lectures from home, which meant they used public transport only occasionally.

The use of public transport is more common in larger cities like Ljubljana, where 23% of households used public transport regularly, and Maribor, where that share amounted to 15%.

On the other hand, the share of households that never use public passenger transport is highest in settlements with less than 2,000 inhabitants (37%), and in settlements with 2,000 to 10,000 inhabitants (36%).

In terms of regions, the highest proportion of households using public transport on a regular basis (30%) was recorded in the south-western region of Obalno-Kraška, near the coast.

Households use public transport for a variety of purposes – 38% of households last used it for errands and shopping, and 24% for commuting to work.

This year, only 3% of households reported transport to kindergarten, school or university as their last use of public transport. According to Informa Echo, this is another proof of the social changes caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

They noted that even before the pandemic, public transport was a key mode of transport only for a small proportion of households, but data for the period 2010-2017 show a positive trend.

The share of households that use public transport in addition to their personal vehicle to get to work has increased by 22 percentage points over that period, from 6% in 2010 to 28% in 2017.

“Unfortunately, this is still not enough to increase energy efficiency in line with the country’s targets,” Informa Echo concluded.