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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article13 July 20181 min read

Growing popularity for bus, bike and Bahn

How has mobility changed in Germany? The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure studied almost a million journeys made in 2017 by over 156,000 households.

The study found that Germans travel slightly less on an average day compared to 2008, with a drop from 90% to 85%. however, the number of kilometres travelled per journey increased slightly.

The car remains the dominant and popular mode of transport, while bike, bus and train are becoming more popular. The steady growth of individual motorised traffic in the last decades is stagnating.

In 2017, 43% of journeys were made by car, (14% as a passenger in a car), 22% on foot, 11% by bike and 10% by public transport.

Investments in infrastructure do have an effect on travellers choosing different modes of transport. Some German cities reach a modal split for cycling up to 30%, while others ‘stay with single-digits’. A different design of cycling infrastructure is usually the reason:

‘In the areas that offer good cycling facilities, these are indeed being used by citizens. The same goes for bus and train transport and even for walking. Efforts to make improvements sort effect.’

The Ministry of Transport also studies new developments such as online shopping. They have found that 70% of German households have experience with online shopping. Purchases from home do not mean less travel: respondents with the highest number of online purchases also recorded the highest number of mileage, journeys and traveling time.

Other new developments like car and bike-sharing are already a reality in metropolitan regions. Although their contribution to environment friendly mobility is still very small, they do raise awareness about a new mobility culture.

Download the report Mobilität in Deutschland here



Publication date
13 July 2018
  • Policy and research
  • Germany