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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article10 September 20181 min read

Majority of Swedish municipalities promote public transport

Public transport provision is not a competence of Swedish municipalities. However, 73 % of the Swedish towns have set the objective of promoting public transport.

The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute VTI studied how Swedish towns and cities shape public transport. They do so through local building and traffic planning, the regulation of road space, parking policies and mobility management. VTI’s study reports about a wide range of measures, including the upgrade of junctions, new or improved bus and rail infrastructure and the promotion of alternative fuels.

The study was based on the answers from 194 of Sweden’s 290 municipalities.

Car use

The reduction of car use is a less of a common goal among Swedish municipalities. Only 37 % of the respondents stated that this is an objective. This is due to Sweden’s variety in densely and sparsely populated areas. While the reduction of car traffic is a prominent theme in Sweden’s urban areas, it is not in Sweden’s rural areas.

The study also found discrepancies in the internal mobility management policies of Swedish municipalities. While 59 % of the Swedish towns and cities sets clear guidance on its staff’s travel behaviour, one-third does not have such mobility management measures in place.

Lack of common methodology

VTI concludes that Swedish municipalities could improve their working methods by using a common methodology. For example, a shared definition of public transport is lacking. Municipalities that do use a definition of public transport, usually apply a geographic definition. Some complement this with frequency or time intervals between stops. A common definition is also lacking for population density.

Read the report here (in Swedish only)


Publication date
10 September 2018
  • Policy and research
  • Sweden